Stress tests

Food stress tests are performed to obtain information on the behavior of microorganisms (their growth and development rate) artificially introduced into the product.

The purpose of food stress tests is to assess the microbiological stability of a product or the growth rate of selected groups of microorganisms under foreseeable conditions: transport, distribution or storage.

Our laboratory will perform microbiological stress tests for you, thanks to which you will be sure that the produced food meets the safety criterion for the selected microorganism during the entire shelf-life. This type of test applies in particular to ready-to-eat products in which the possibility of the development of Listeria monocytogenes is assessed, which may pose a risk to the health of consumers due to its presence.

The tests will be used to estimate the growth potential (∆) of the selected microorganism and the obtained result will allow to check whether its growth is possible in a given product.

If there is a risk of growth of the introduced micro-organism in a given product, the tests are continued with a view to determining the maximum growth rate factor. The test allows to determine how quickly a given microorganism is able to multiply in the product and whether its amount at the end of the use-by date will not exceed a critical value.

The tests are performed on the basis of:

      • European Guide for RTE Food Producers “EURL Lm TECHNICAL GUIDANCE DOCUMENT for conducting shelf-life studies on Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat foods” (version 3 – 6 June 2014).
      • French standard NF V 01-009 “Food traceability and safety – Management and hygiene – Guidance for performing microbiological growth tests” (2 May 2014)

Stress tests allow food producers to ensure the compliance of their products with the law, as well as provide a guarantee to consumers for their highest quality.