The EPIC Low-Acid Solution Outpaces Demanding Market Trends


Supporting Your Product Portfolio Expansion

Current market trends demand a shift away from pure dairy products to other low-acid offerings, including non-dairy, plant or nut-based products, or even caffeinated. To meet these demands, manufacturers must conquer a considerable learning curve and changes in processing and establishing new critical control points.

Offset Additional Risks Associated with New Processes

Not only are processes changing to produce low-acid products, but these developments also introduce new risk points concerning product integrity and consumer safety. From a microbiological standpoint, this trend is complicating the ability of manufacturers to recognize their microbial challenges, understand their limits, and uphold safety standards.

Critical monitoring of diverse low-acid products requires precise handling of risk points for hazards like microbes and allergens. In addition, frequent change-overs of product and packaging increases the risk of microbial contamination.

The Limitations of Conventional Microbiological Testing

Conventional microbiological testing proves too slow to keep up with the accelerated pace of the modern market. This can result in delayed product diversification and stalled delivery of these products to the sellers’ shelves and the hands of consumers. More critically, the time spent testing with traditional methods doesn’t detect contaminants fast enough to avoid potential product contamination, which is costly to a business’ bottom line.

Ramp Up to Race Against Time

Relying on traditional microbiological testing means that your production results in longer holding times in your warehouse before a product is determined safe enough for sale. A faster alternative will alert you to issues within 48 hours, providing you with the invaluable opportunity to contain contaminated products and stop production to avoid greater losses.

Most manufacturing companies cannot afford the expense of keeping a microbiologist on staff at all times. Without this safeguard in place, there is significant room for error when it comes to diversifying production and keeping your microbial CCPs under control.

At Charm Sciences, we’re strategizing solutions that supplement this expertise, ensuring safer products are released to the market faster than conventional microbiological testing allows.

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Expand Your Product Portfolio with Low-Acid Tests

Partner with Charm Sciences

By partnering with Charm Sciences, you will be able to streamline your laboratory’s testing procedures by using a single methodology that evaluates multiple product types. Using a single protocol, your laboratory can test a much wider range of low acid products, giving you an edge on your competitors when it comes to safety and speed.

Enhance Your Education with Strategic Support and Service

This new knowledge base needs support and that’s where Charm Sciences stands out from the competition. Our level of training and willingness to work in partnership with every single one of our customers will uniquely help you understand and manage the microbial challenges inherent in manufacturing a diverse range of low-acid products.

Our depth of support is matched only by the breadth of our service.

Introducing the Charm EPIC System for Low-Acid Products

The Charm EPIC system is a luminometer that predicts spoilage in aseptic and extended shelf life UHT low acid beverages.

EPIC utilizes ATP, a bio-marker, to rapidly detect microbiological contamination. The EPIC system can screen low acid beverage products in as little as 24 to 48 hours.

The finished packaged product is incubated to accelerate the microbial growth if present. After incubation, samples are pipetted into a microplate and inserted into the EPIC system. It automatically performs protocol and analysis. Raw data is managed either by EPIClink database or automatically integrated into other data management systems for real-time data analysis.

Diverse portfolio of low acid products validated*

wdt_ID Dairy Plant-based nut and legume Plant-based cereal and protein Nutritional RTD Caffeinated Beverages Additional low acid products
1 Milk (0% – 3.5% fat) Almond Rice Infant formula Black coffees Broths
2 Creams (10% – 40% fat) Coconut Oat Nutraceuticals Coffee with dairy creamer Puddings/custards
3 Flavored milks Coconut water Flax Coffee with plant-based creamers Non-dairy creamers
4 Lactose reduced/free milk Cashew Hemp
5 Ice cream mixes and shakes Walnut Soy
6 Eggnog Pea-protein based beverages

*Continually expanding portfolio

Top Takeaways


Fast results reduce warehouse hold times



Only 24 to 48 hours incubation needed for most products



Less than thirty minutes of testing time for 96 samples



Multiple low acid products can be tested at once using the same single method



Supports low acid product diversification while keeping your CCPs under control



Partnership and 24-hour support


Are You Looking to Improve Your Product Quality or Shelf Life?

If so, have a confidential conversation with one of our food safety and industry specialist today to discover where your challenge might be—and how we can help you fix it.