Pathogen Reduction in Apple Cider Production

2000 Annual Report for FNC00-307

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2000: $4,450.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2001
Region: North Central
State: Michigan
Project Coordinator:
Michael Beck
Cider Production Manager

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.