The control of the product pH is a critical factor to the safety of “Acidified Foods” products. The product pH must be monitored and recorded as part of the thermal process records for all Acidified Foods.
FDA regulations 21 CFR Part 114 outline the procedures required for measuring pH in Acidified Food products. The pH electrode(s) and meter(s) must be standardized using fresh, standard buffer solutions of pH = 4.0 and 7.0. TechniCAL recommends the following guidelines for determining the equilibrium pH:
Determine the pH of the covering solution and each solid component making up the product:
- Drain the covering solution (acidic brine) from the finished product, adjust the temperature to 77°F (25°C), and determine and record the pH.
For Each Solid portion of the finished product:
- Remove the largest solid particulate in the container of each ingredient, and cut it open to get to the center
- Adjust the temperature to 77°F (25°C), and determine and record the pH of the center of the particulate.
- Blend the remaining particulates into a paste, adjust the temperature to 77°F (25°C), and determine and record the pH of the blend
Entire Container Contents
- Blend the entire can contents (acidic covering solution and solid components)
- Adjust the temperature to 77°F (25°C), and determine and record the pH
The equilibrium pH of any one of these three determinations cannot be greater than that listed as the Maximum pH by the process authority.