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Microbiological Guidelines

In 2007 a scientific paper about microbiological profiles of milled cereal grains concluded microbiological specifications and lot acceptance criteria are not necessary for milled grain products. “The Role of Microbiological Guidelines in the Production and Commercial Use of Milled Cereal Grains – A Practical Approach for the 21st Century,” was authored by Dr. William H. Sperber and NAMA’s Microbiology Working Group. It was published in the April 2007 issue of the Journal of Food Protection.

NAMA members provided 13,400 sample results for the survey. The survey included tests results for aerobic plate counts, yeasts, molds, coliforms, E. coli and Salmonella for five milled grains – wheat, corn, oats, whole wheat, and durum. The samples were reviewed to assess current trends. This was the first comprehensive report on microbiological profiles that includes North American dry milled corn, oats, whole wheat and durum. The survey documented an extremely low incidence of salmonellae and historically low microbiological profiles of the five products surveyed. For example, the aerobic plate, yeast, mold, and coliform counts in wheat flour decreased by 59%, 85%, 73%, and 50%, respectively, in comparison to earlier published results. The incidence of salmonellae in wheat flour, already very low in earlier reports, declined by an additional 87%.

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