Processing Authority

Processing authority is a person who has an expert knowledge in the field of canning and microbiology. Thermal processes for canned foods shall be established by processing authority. In addition they must possess advanced testing equipment which will allow them to conduct heat penetration tests and /or innoculated pack studies. For example, fish can be packed in brine, sauce or oil and each method will affect the heating characteristics of the product. A product packed in oil needs longer processing times as bacterial spores receive extra protection from a thin film of oil that encapsulates them. A process is established for a particular food, formulation, thermal processing details, container type and size. Any changes to the formulation, process or container size must be evaluated and approved by a processing authority and not by the packer. Processing times that commercial producers use are much shorter in order not to overcook the food and preserve the best texture and color. Many factors are involved in designing a new recipe such as the properties of raw material, the amount of sugar, the percentage of fat, thickening materials (starch, flour), acidifying agents (lactic acid, citric acid, lemon juice) and more.

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