The use of condiments and spices in the food industry is an area where the quality of the raw material is a constant concern.Since these products are of agricultural origin, they are consistently associated with a high microbial load originated in particular from soil and handling. This microbial load can then result in a rapid spoilage of the foods they are supposed to enhance.
Decontamination of condiments and spices with steam or with chemical fumigants such as ethylene oxide (EtO) are already in use. The heat treatment is particularly sensitive in the processing of herbs and spices as some volatile components can be lost, compromising the main characteristics of this type of product and under which lies their greatest commercial value.
One technology that has shown an increasing application is irradiation, a physical non-thermal process, which in addition to significantly reducing microbial load, is a simple, modern, and clean method authorized in several countries, including in Europe (Directive 1999/2/EC).
May 2014 - May 2016