DPC 10, Maintaining and Testing Fluid Milk Shelf Life

Item #: DPC-010

Published: 2004

Pages: 19

The purpose of this guideline is to provide the dairy processor and other interested parties with recommendations for optimizing pasteurized product shelf-life, and presents an overview of factors that should be considered in performing shelf-life assessment procedures. Also included in the guideline are some methods that have shown promise in determining and predicting the shelf life of fluid milk. It is imperative that code dating be recognized as a quality index.

DISCLAIMER: The DPC is not responsible for the use or application of the information provided in this Guideline. It is the responsibility of the user to ensure that the information addresses their needs and that any action taken complies with appropriate regulations and standards.

Table of Contents:
INTRODUCTION
RAW MILK QUALITY
     TEMPERATURE
     STORAGE TIME AND HANDLING
     ODOR DEFECTS
     BACTERIA COUNTS
     SOMATIC CELL COUNTS (SCC)
     FREEZING POINT
     KEY POINTS:
PASTEURIZED MILK – PROCESSING  & SANITATION CONSIDERATIONS
     EQUIPMENT DESIGN & OPERATION
     CLEANING AND SANITIZING
     INSPECTION AND MAINTENANCE
     WATER QUALITY
     WATER CONDENSATION & AEROSOLS
     PACKAGING – CRITICAL CONSIDERATIONS
     TEMPERATURE
     PERSONNEL
     KEY POINTS:
PASTEURIZED MILK – PRODUCT EVALUATION
     BACTERIAL TESTS
     HOLDING QUALITY TESTS
     SENSORY TESTING, ODOR & FLAVOR
     KEY POINTS:
     SUMMARY – ACHIEVING SHELF LIFE
SHELF LIFE TESTING & METHODS FOR SHELF LIFE “PREDICTION”
     INDICES FOR SHELF LIFE EVALUATIONS
          TABLE 1. Indices Used for Measurement and/or Prediction of Shelf Life
SHELF LIFE EVALUATION & PREDICTION
     MOSELEY KEEPING QUALITY TEST
     VIRGINIA TECH SHELF LIFE PROGRAM OR PRELIMINARY INCUBATION (PI)
           Figure 1.  Virginia Tech Shelf Life Program
     PRELIMINARY INCUBATION METHOD FOR DETECTION OF COLIFORMS IN MILK
     “PYSCHRO-FAST” OR SELECTIVE GRAM-NEGATIVE PREINCUBATION TEST
     IMPEDIMETRIC METHOD FOR PASTEURIZED MILK SHELF LIFE
     LIMULUS AMOEBOCYTE LYSATE (LAL) ASSAY FOR LIPOPOLYSACCHARIDES
     ATP DETERMINATION
     DIRECT EPIFLUORESCENT FILTER TECHNIQUE (DEFT)
     SUMMARY
SHELF LIFE DATING REQUIREMENTS
SUGGESTED REFERENCES

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DPC 10, Maintaining and Testing Fluid Milk Shelf Life

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