SURVEY OF APPLE GROWING, HARVESTING, AND CIDER MANUFACTURING PRACTICES IN WISCONSIN: IMPLICATIONS FOR SAFETY

Authors


1 Corresponding author: Department of Food Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1605 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706. Phone: (608) 265-4801; FAX: (608) 262-6872; E-mail: scingham@facstaff.wisc.edu

ABSTRACT

To evaluate the safety of current apple growing, harvesting and cider manufacturing practices in Wisconsin, cider manufacturers were contacted in a three-phase survey. Results revealed that seasonal, small-scale production was characteristic of the industry. Most cider mills produced less than 5,000 gal/year; only 6% produced more than 20,000 gal/year. Most cider makers used only tree picked apples (86%), inspected apples before washing (94%), washed (93%) and brushed (87%) apples, but only 16% of mills sanitized washed apples. Most mills (92%) sanitized cider making equipment after each use; however, only a few sanitized between custom pressing apples from different customers. Respondents reported that they strived to improve cider safety by pasteurization (43% of all cider), UV light treatment (4%), use of preservatives (30%), and HACCP (17%). For 31% of all cider, however, processors relied solely on refrigeration and/or freezing. These results show that most cider mills practice many steps believed to enhance cider safety, but results also identify procedures that must be addressed to further improve cider safety.

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