Predictive microbiological modeling, a tool of quantitative microbiological risk assessment

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Authors: József Farkas, Csilla Mohácsiné Farkas


1. Summary

After a brief recalling of the mathematical scaling of food preservation of nearly one hundred years ago, the article gives a short overview of the international development of predictive bacteriology, highlighting the role of a Hungarian mathematician working in England, József Baranyi, and soft­ware packages representing the tertiary models of predictive microbiology. Modeling of the propagation of molds and the formation of mycotoxins is also discussed in the paper. At­tention is also drawn to microbiological risk assessment ba­sed on the use of predictive modeling, and further research tasks of the topic.


2. Introduction, history

Predictive microbiological modeling had only become a new subdiscipline of food microbiology by the last decades of the 20th century, although it was a mathematical model – the recognition of the logarithmic law of the thermal death of Clostridium botulinum spores in the 1920s – that made sca­ling of the heat treatment preservation technology of close to neutral pH foods possible [1], [2], [3]. However, similar mo­deling of the propagation of microbial populations had taken decades, because „predictive microbiology” of bacterial pro­pagation only began in the 1980s when conditions for this were established by the development of computer science and information technology, and thanks to the development of the appropriate software.

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