New Methods of Food Preservation

pp 1-21

Principles and applications of hurdle technology

  • L. Leistner

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The microbial stability and safety of most traditional and novel foods is based on a combination of several factors (hurdles), which should not be overcome by the microorganisms present. This is illustrated by the so-called hurdle effect. The hurdle effect is of fundamental importance for the preservation of foods, since the hurdles in a stable product control microbial spoilage, food-poisoning and, in some instances, the desired fermentation process [1,2]. Leistner and co-workers acknowledged that the hurdle concept illustrates only the well-known fact that complex interactions of temperature, water activity, pH, redox potential, etc. are significant for the microbial stability of foods.