Pathogen Reduction in Apple Cider Production
Apple cider producers claim stricter Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, and costlier pasteurization equipment forces orchards out of business.
Objective: To research apple cider production alternatives to reduce pathogen transmission.
The FDA requires juice pumped through a processor to have the capability to reduce bacterial counts by five log, or 99.999 percent. Currently, cider makers rely upon pasteurization and ultra-violet treatments.
First, the producer inoculated cider samples with a non-pathogenic form of E. coli. Second, he pumped the cider through an ultrasonic processor to destroy the E. coli, and finally, he tested the bacterial kill of the samples.
Results: The producer achieved within one-half log reduction in bacterial count with the ultrasound. He feels that this technique, combined with ultra-violet rays, would be advantageous.