Predictive Microbiology

Predictive microbiology is a depiction of the responses of microorganism's to particular environmental conditions such as temperature, pH and water activity. It uses the mathematical models (built with data from laboratory testing) and computer software which graphically describe these responses. Predictive microbiology provide the condensed knowledge of traditional microbiology combined with the disciplines of statistics, mathematics and information systems and technology to explain the microbial behavior to prevent the food spoilage as well as food-borne illnesses. The microbial growth and their survival or death in foods is determined by the properties of food (e.g., water activity and pH) and the storage conditions (e.g., temperature, relative humidity, and atmosphere). It describes the microbial behavior in different environments and helps us to understand and manage the ecology of food borne microorganisms. Predictive microbiology ensures that the behavior of the microorganism is reproducible and quantifiable by characterizing environmental factors. These factors control microbial viability (e.g. temp, aw, pH, organic acids) with assist in defining preventive controls (e.g. critical limits), help regulatory authorities  to develop standards and help companies meet standards which Minimize microbiological testing and ensure the food safety and control. Some of the more regularly used models are listed below:

  •  Combase
  • Pathogen modeling program
  • Growth predictor and Perfringens predictor
  • Sym’Previus  (an integrated database and predictive software

 

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