Food Engineering/Manufacturing/Herbal shot, no preservatives

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Question
Greetings,

I came across a post about citric acid preservation for tea. I can not find it now, so you may be repeating a few things as you answer these questions.

I am beginning a company that makes a small 2-3 oz herbal beverage. I would like to use ph balance as a preservation method as i hear it is the least toxic method. (Do you know a better method?) This will be a non- refrigerated item.

Where do you recommend looking to get bottles?

What companies do you know of that offer this service?

I saw a recommendation of a company that offers coaching/advise in this field in you other post, who were they?

I would like to make some at home mixing to test the flavor of my herbal mix with the citric acid, how would i do this, what PH do i need to have to made legal and stable?

How do i find out laws and regulations around home based products for my state (texas), can i start out of my home, or a certified kitchen, or will i need to get them filled at a plant from the get go?


I feel many more questions brewing (pun intended), as i begin this tea concentrate company. But this should quench me fro now!!

Thank you for your support and wisdom. I look forward to the day when i to can share my wisdom!!

Sufijan

Answer
Foods and beverages with pH below 4.6 are acid or acidified foods and will not support Clostridium botulinum. However, they can still spoil and contain other pathogens, and so are usually heated or have preservatives added. Citric acid will lower the pH, but you need to be sure the flavor is acceptable.

Many companies manufacture bottles, such as Saint-Gobain, Owens Illinois, and Crown. However, they probably have minimum order size. One option is laboratory supply houses, such as LSS, now part of Grainger. McMaster Carr might offer bottles.

You can get some advice and help from the department of food science at Texas A & M.

You can start manufacturing from your home if you want. There are small  kitchens in some areas that offer space to entrepreneurs. So long as you do not ship or sell across state lines, you are regulated by state and local public health. I do not know the laws in Texas. Interstate commerce is regulated by FDA, which requires that every producer of food be registered and that processes for acidified foods be filed with them.

When you grow larger, you may want to use a co-manufacturer who can fill small bottles. One such firm is Protica in Pennsylvania. All their products are protein fortified beverages, but they might consider your business. They hot fill and use preservatives. There are many other possible firms, some surely closer to Texas.

Food Engineering/Manufacturing

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J. Peter Clark

Expertise

How various processed foods are made; ways to improve manufacturing; how to make a new food product.

Experience

Employment history: Research Engineer, U.S.Agricultural Research Service, Associate Professor Chemical Engineering, Virginia Tech, Director of Research, Continental Baking Company, President, Epstein Process Engineering, Inc., Vice Presdent Technology, Fluor Daniel, Inc., Consultant to the Process Industries

Organizations: American Institute of Chemical Engineers (Fellow) Institute of Food Technologists, American Association of Cereal Chemists, American Association of Candy Technologists, American Society of Agricultural Engineers,

Publications: Several Encyclopedias (Kirk and Othmer, Chemical Technology; Food Science, Food Technology and Nutrition; Wiley Encyclopedia of Food Science and Technology; Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems); five books, two book chapters; numerous journals.

Education: BSChE Notre Dame PhD University of California, Berkeley

Awards: AIChE Food, Pharmaceutical and Bioengineering Division Award 1998

Clients: Major food processing and pharamaceutical companies.

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