Limagrain Céréales Ingredients has recently partnered with Novolyze® to reinforce the microbiological control of its proprietary heat process for flours: Farigel®. In order to confirm the effectiveness of the Farigel® process, Limagrain Céréales Ingrédients chose to use the innovative products developed by Novolyze. The methodology utilizes harmless bacteria that mimic the behavior of foodborne pathogens under different kinds of stress.

“We are honored to partner with a prestigious company of Limagrain’s stature as they are the 4th largest seed company in the world. Limagrain is a also a unique partner for Novolyze as they are vertically integrated from seed to flour to cereal ingredients to bakery products. We service the same product categories so this is a very synergistic partnership.” says Jena Roberts, vice president of business development at Novolyze.

Even though foodborne pathogens have a small probability to grow in low moisture foods like flour, they can survive for many years due to the low water activity. Pathogen inactivation is usually obtained by the application of a preventive treatment. The Farigel® process developed by Limagrain Céréales Ingrédients applies a thermal stress on flours and is therefore considered a preventive control for foodborne pathogens like Salmonella or Escherichia coli.

A validation project with surrogate microorganisms commonly includes three major steps. The first consists in the definition of a validation strategy. After that, the resistance of the surrogate is verified at lab scale. Roberts explained that “this step is particularly important and determines the whole project validity. As a matter of fact, Codex Alimentarius 2008 clearly underlines this point. In the case of the Farigel® process, Novolyze® performed an experimental study with Limagrain’s flour. This test enabled to verify that the selected surrogate had a similar resistance to foodborne pathogens. The 3rd and last step consisted in performing validation trials directly on the Farigel® process at factory scale. The tested flour was inoculated with the Novolyze® surrogate and then distributed in the Farigel® process. Post-process samples were collected and analyzed, which enabled to calculate the capacity of the Farigel® process to inactivate pathogens.”

The results enabled LCI to confirm that the Farigel process was capable of eliminating 5-log of Salmonella. The Novolyze dry surrogate is uniquely used in the production equipment to create “gold-standard” data for the process validation which is a pivotal benefit for regulatory inspections. This study reinforced the control of the Farigel process.  

Both companies are excited that a validation project can also improve efficiency via process optimization.