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Challenge Studies for Acidified Foods

Microbial challenge studies are performed for acidified foods to assess the safety and stability of these products. Acidified foods have a pH below 4.6, making them inhospitable to most foodborne pathogens’ growth. However, some microorganisms can still survive and grow in these products, leading to spoilage and potential food safety hazards. A microbial challenge study aims to identify and test the effectiveness of preservation methods and determine the product’s shelf life. The study results are used to validate the pH controls of acidified foods and to determine the need for additional controls to ensure the safety and stability of the product over its shelf life.

This webinar focuses on essential aspects of challenge studies for acidified foods, including specific requirements for challenge pathogens, hold temperatures, and acid adaptation for inoculation. Each of these is a critical and required aspect of a challenge-study design when submitting for approval with the California Department of Health.

In this 30-minute webinar, Dr. Heidi Wright will discuss the following:
✓ Overview of acidified foods and their food safety concerns
✓ Recommendations for challenge study and execution
✓ Requirements for study design and approval
✓ Summary of the expected outcomes and final study report

Who Should Attend:

Heidi Wright, Ph.D.

Dr. Heidi Wright has a Ph.D. degree in Food Science & Technology and Toxicology from Iowa State University where she specialized in research areas related to natural antimicrobials in food and pharmaceutical applications. She also has a M.S in Biological Science with a specialization in Microbiology from South Dakota State University. Her research included extension outreach in food safety training. She has over 12 years of academic and industry experience in the areas of food safety, antimicrobials and microbiology research, including method development, validation testing, and study designs for challenge and shelf life studies.

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