Time / Temperature for killing pathogens?

Hi all,

Out of curiosity do most companies do their own validation study on time/temp needed to kill pathogens or is there a guideline of some sort they follow?

We are an herbal extract company - the closest category of foods for us is “spice” I believe. I am having a hard time trying to find guidelines of what time/temp is needed to heat treat our product.

I believe the guidelines state steam treatment is best (on raw agricultural products before drying). I found some useful information on aW and how it affects pathogens, but not a treatment method.

Interested in hearing what other companies do and if we should validate it ourselves.


It is acceptable to use peer reviewed data

You need to identify which pathogens you are trying to control, their unique responses to the type of “kill step” you are proposing/using and apply sufficient control, e.g. temperature to achieve the desired control


Before you can determine the time and temperature for pasteurization. You must first know the kinds of microbes you are dealing with and study them in other to pick the appropriate time and Temp that will destroy the microbes but will retain the nutrients of your product

You need to identify the type of microbe you will be eliminating. And what parameters inhibits the growth or eliminate the particular microorganism.

And yes, most companies do their own validation study and document it.

I hope you might find this report useful- **Evaluation and Definition of Potentially Hazardous Foods, A Report of the Institute of Food Technologists for the Food and Drug Administration of the United States Department

Evaluation-and-Definition-of-Potentially-Hazardous-Foods (1).pdf (2.7 MB)
of Health and Human Services**

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Most companies do follow established guidelines and standards for validation studies on the time/temp needed to kill pathogens in food products. For herbal extract companies, the guidelines would depend on the specific product and its intended use, as well as the relevant regulatory requirements in the country where the product is manufactured and sold. The International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) provides a wealth of information on food safety standards and guidelines, as do many national regulatory bodies.

In general, validation studies are important to ensure that the heat treatment process used by companies is effective in killing pathogens and ensuring the safety of the product. This validation process should be done in accordance with the relevant guidelines and standards and documented for regulatory purposes.

It is highly recommended for your company to conduct a validation study to ensure the safety of your product and to comply with regulatory requirements. The study should determine the optimal time/temp needed to kill pathogens and be validated through laboratory testing.

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In case the production process does not involve usage of heat, how can the microbes be eliminated.