According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there have been a total of 11 flour recalls in 2019 due to the presence, or potential presence, of contamination from E.coli or Salmonella. Each of these recalls cost the processor upwards of $10 million to address. As a possible solution to these pathogen challenges, Agri-Neo (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) offers what they describe as the first non-thermal food safety processing technology for eliminating these pathogens in flour during the milling process. Features of their approach include:
- Done without impacting the nutritional qualities, taste, or functionality of flour due to the lack of heat involved.
- Can be integrated seamlessly, according to the company, into the standard tempering process during milling in allowing for mass scalability.
- Provides a validated microbial reduction rate of greater than 99.9 percent for both hard and soft flours.
- The process is initiated by mixing an organic liquid solution with the water deployed during the tempering process. This technique reportedly destroys pathogens like E. coli and Salmonella on the wheatberry’s surface and in cracks and crevices that can harbor pathogens.
- Once the process is complete, the liquid solution completely biodegrades.
- Neo-Temper is certified organic to the standards of the U.S. National Organic Program and Canada Organic Regime, and meets Kosher and Halal guidelines.
- The company has completed four commercial validations of Neo-Temper, and reportedly has a waiting list for additional North American millers.