Cooking

Historical Aspects of Cooking

Early days of Cooking

Researchers have found what appear to be the remains of campfires made 1.5 million years ago by Homo erectus, one of the early human species. There is also strong archeological evidence that cooking wasn’t just a nicety; it played an essential role in human evolution. Cooking foods makes them more digestible, so the calories and some of the nutrients in them are easier to absorb. Necessity, rather than taste, often dictated how hunter-gatherers of the past prepared their food. Some foods had to be prepared / cooked carefully to remove toxins.

Cuisine Goes Corporate in the 20th Century

The concept of quick, ready-to-eat food had been around for centuries. What was different about the 1950s fast-food trend is that the individual restaurants were controlled by what soon became large corporations. Advances in technology, such as the invention of the microwave are just one example in hundreds of transformations that took place in the world of food during the 20th century, providing convenience, speed, and low price to millions of people. These changes were profound and far-reaching. For the first time in history, a large fraction of the things people ate came from factories. This was true for ready-to-consume foods and drinks.

Cooking in the 21st Century

A fast-growing global population has translated into an increased demand for ready-to-eat foods. Food processors are now facing the many challenges that come along producing more product in the same and sometimes even lesser time than anytime before. Some of these challenges have been met with cooking technology designed for large throughput, with a strict focus on safety as well as quality.

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Cooking in the 21st Century

A fast-growing global population has translated into an increased demand for ready-to-eat foods. Food processors are now facing the many challenges that come along producing more product in the same and sometimes even lesser time than anytime before. Some of these challenges have been met with cooking technology designed for large throughput, with a strict focus on safety as well as quality.

Important Cooking Validation Considerations

One key feature of modern cooking systems is their use of many sensors which enable them to perform a variety of tasks, from a variety of possible settings. Consequently, validation of these systems necessitates the use of robust, high-accuracy instruments. A successful validation study needs to include a detailed description of the worst-case-scenario for the product/s under evaluation. Some critical considerations include, but are not limited to:

 

  • Proper identification of cold-zones (i.e., or slowest heating rate), which is affected by a variety of factors such as: loading practice (e.g., full vs. partial loads), irregular product sizes, more than one product size, wear and tear from equipment, uneven airflow, location of product sensor and so on)
  • Critical probes malfunction, or go out of calibration (i.e., product, dry-bulb and wet-bulb sensors)
  • additional stress on equipment added in ‘peak’ production periods (e.g., Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, etc.)
  • Products are placed in close proximity generating touchers, which have a strong tendency to significantly increase the thermal load to achieve an adequate heat treatment
  • It is also recommended that the analysis also takes into account the uncertainty between batches.

UNDERSTANDING HAZARDS AND CONTROL MEASURES

Salmonella species is the target organism for fully cooked, ready-to-eat, meat and poultry products. This is mostly due to this organism’s high resistance to heat, even at temperatures higher than 74 °C.

What is meant by a ‘7-Log Reduction’, or ‘7D’ reduction for Salmonella spp. for poultry? (same applies for ‘6.5D’ for non-poultry).

A 7-log reduction (or ‘7D’) means that the equipment must be able to impart a thermal lethality to reduce an initial count of 10,000,000 cells/gram (or 10^7 CFUs/g) to virtually zero CFUs/g at the end of the cooking cycle. This is often reported as a ‘Negative’ lab result to indicate absence of the organism at the lowest level of detection for the organism, which is dependent on the analytical method used by the lab.

Other regulatory performance standards for cooked meat and poultry products include: 5-Log reduction for E. coli O157:H7 (for products containing beef) and a 6-Log reduction for Listeria spp.

Our validation services only uses the most rugged, high-accuracy instruments currently available. We closely monitor the different factors required to achieve an adequate cooking cycle as well as provide recommendations to increase product throughput. Our equipment provides real-time feedback to ensure issues can be corrected even before the cooking cycle has ended. We also use validated predictive modelling tools, such as ComBase to analyze special or borderline cases.

CB Premium Thermal Lethality

This includes identification of ‘cold-spots’ (i.e., to maximize thermal lethality), optimization of cooking / dwell time application

(i.e., to minimize over-cooking and maximize yields), optimization of loading practices (i.e., to maximize uniformity in product quality).

Our expertise includes, but it is not limited to forced convection ovens (i.e., smokehouses, spiral ovens, etc.), kettles and other batch processes.

Daniel Dorigiola

Co-Owner / QA Manager – Venetian Meat and Salami Co. Ltd., Hamilton, Ontario

“We have used the services from Quantum Food Solutions for a number of years to help us manage our written food safety program and validate our food safety controls (e.g., cooking, cooling, fermented/dry-cured products). We are very pleased with their practical approach to resolving issues and finding opportunities for process improvement. We certainly appreciate the high level of service they continue to provide our company and highly recommend their services”.

Pawel Zwerello

HACCP Coordinator, Sikorski Sausages, London, Ontario

“Renzo is very knowledgeable in Food Sciences, and we hired him as a process authority to help us approve a custom process, which received ‘no objection’ from CFIA. Renzo works in an efficient, professional and timely manner. We look forward to working with Renzo in the future, and have no reservations on recommending him to others looking to improve their processes and take their Food Safety to the next level. Thanks Quantum!”

Marius Kamerbeek

Plant Manager, Erie Meats, Listowel, Ontario

“We manufacture cooked meat and poultry products at our federal facility. We hired Quantum to evaluate our cooking processes including our smokehouses and spiral oven. We appreciate their high quality of service that has enabled us to comply with CFIA and FSIS requirements. We certainly recommend their services.”

Pete Holowachuk

Quality Manager, Winkler Meats Ltd., Winkler, Manitoba.

“We are a CFIA inspected plant certificated to the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety. Renzo came to us highly recommended and we have contracted him on multiple occasions to validate our cooking and chilling processes. He uses a practical approach and specialized tools that allow him to provide a fairly comprehensive service. We look forward to working with him again and definitely recommend him to anyone looking for a robust, yet affordable food safety service.”

Stefan Cartmale

General Manager, Bright Cheese Ltd., Bright, Ontario.

“Thank you Quantum for all of the work to help us attain BRC certification. It has been one of the most rewarding achievements of my lifetime and I am so proud that we were able to achieve the BRC AA rating! By doing so, it has opened many new doors for us and also enable us to expand and continue to grow our business. We definitely recommend Quantum’s food safety services.”

Ramon Eberle

Plant Manager, Stonetown Artisan Cheese Ltd., St. Marys, Ontario.

This is to acknowledge that Renzo Gomez from Quantum Food Solutions facilitated the
installation of a solid HACCP plan, which allowed us to reach our goal of becoming federally licensed with CFIA. Thanks to our upgraded food safety standards, we were able to get in to business with Farm Boy and sell our product in new markets outside of Ontario. His service is affordably priced, very streamlined and his communication is honest and straight forward. It was a pleasure to work with Renzo Gomez and we are looking forward to work with him again in the future”

Julia Banton

Vice President of Operations, Kitchen Partners Limited, Edmonton, Alberta.

“Renzo has a wealth of knowledge, whilst maintaining a logical and common sense outlook to the tasks ahead. His approach is unique to that of other consultants I have worked with, in that he is pragmatic and makes light work of global codes/standards. We definitely look forward to continuing to work together and highly recommend Quantum to anyone looking to upgrade their food safety and quality systems.”

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