Hygienic acceptance of wood in food industry

Abstract

Food is physically manipulated by other materials during production processes, and therefore, food quality and safety are vital in processes where foods are in contact with various materials. Wooden frames were used for centuries for dried egg pasta trays; however, with the development of different materials, wood was slowly abandoned and replaced by plastic. Nevertheless, there are some hygienic considerations concerning plastic frames in the dried egg pasta making industry. In this study, plastic and wooden trays were analysed by swabbing (n = 210) and evaluated in regard to total number of aerobic counts (TAC), Enterobacteriaceae, Escherichia coli, moulds, yeasts and Staphylococcus aureus using dry medium plates. The aims of the research were to (1) evaluate the total number of microorganisms on wood and plastic material used for pasta trays and (2) make a hygienic evaluation of analysed materials for application in the pasta industry. The research was aimed to answer the question, ‘Does the tray material and/or location of the swab sample influence the colony forming unit (CFU)/20 cm2?’ Results showed a statistical difference in CFU/20 cm2 for all bacterial determinations, except for E. coli which was not detected in swabs taken from wooden or plastic trays. This hygiene evaluation study supported the conclusion that the use of wood is appropriate in the food industry from a hygienic and technological point of view.

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Correspondence to Rok Fink.

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Filip, S., Fink, R., Oder, M. et al. Hygienic acceptance of wood in food industry. Wood Sci Technol 46, 657–665 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00226-011-0440-0

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Keywords

  • Tray
  • Swab Sample
  • Wooden Frame
  • Food Supply Chain
  • Plastic Frame