NCFST Receives Regulatory Acceptance of Food Sterilization Process

Feb. 24, 2009

The National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST), Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and Avure Technologies Inc., announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted the research institute’s filing of a new food sterilization process. The NCFST filing is the firstever petition to FDA for the commercial use of pressure-assisted thermal sterilization (PATS) processes for application in the production of low acid foods.

PATS is a new technology that improves the quality of thermally processed foods while simultaneously eliminating the food safety risks associated with dangerous bacteria such as Clostridium botulinum and its toxins. The process, which combines mild heat with high pressure to produce commercially sterile low acid food products, underwent a rigorous validation process and safety assessment by NCFST researchers and its Dual Use Science and Technology (DUST) consortium members.

The seven-year multimillion dollar collaborative effort included scientists and engineers from
Avure Technologies, U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering
Center (RDEC), Baxter Health Care, ConAgra Foods, Hormel Foods, General Mills, Basic
American Foods, Unilever, and Mars Co.

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