Sarah Whitworth, commissioning editor at Woodhead Publishing, said that the chilled foods industry has grown from a developing industry to a mature one since the publication of the second edition of Chilled foods: a comprehensive guide in 2000.
She told FoodProductionDaily.com that the objective of this third edition is to provide professionals in the chilled food sector with key information about the latest advances in science and equipment and current industry approaches.
“There have been changes in many areas, including product demands, consumer expectations, ingredient sourcing and available technology,” she said.
“Because of the diversity of materials, products and consumers, and rapid rates of innovation in this field, a simplistic approach to product design and manufacture cannot be used: the whole range of modern techniques and knowledge is needed to come up with good products at competitive prices,” claims Whitworth.
Market analysts, Leatherhead Food International, claim that the Western European market for chilled prepared foods is expected to reach more than €18bn by 2010.
Whitworth argues that against the background of international sourcing of raw materials for chilled food manufacture, the importance of using formal, thorough techniques for identifying safety needs, changes in risk and appropriate controls has increased:
“Non-microbiological hazards can arise at any point during the manufacture of a food product, from raw materials, through to processing and storage and include hazards inherent in raw materials such as mycotoxins, polychlorinated biphenyls, heavy metals, pesticide residues and plant toxins.
"The chapters on raw material selection cover issues such as sources of supply, microbiological and non-microbiological hazards in the raw material, transport and intake procedures and quality criteria."
Whitworth said that the guide this time round contains ten new chapters and is more informed by the practitioners’ perspective with contributions from recognised experts in their fields.
“Chapters have also been written by experts from leading universities, industry associations and research centres. Authors have drawn on a wide range of sources in writing their chapters, from the latest journal articles, to their years of expertise in the industry,” she said.
Modelling and predicting the behaviour of micro-organisms in chilled foods is a key step in product and process design that allows manufacturers to produce microbiologically safe and stable products, said the guide's authors.
This edition describes the various modelling approaches and applications that have a role in maintaining the microbiological safety and quality of chilled foods, said Whitworth, with the authors concluding that food product design in the future will increasingly be based on quantitative microbiological risk assessment:
"Successful use of predictive modelling, especially integration of models from different disciplines such as models combining process engineering and microbiology will be of critical importance for food products of the future."