The EPIC Low-Acid Solution Outpaces Demanding Market Trends

Supporting Your Product Portfolio Expansion

Current market trends reflect a consumer demand that is shifting away from just pure dairy to now include non-dairy, plant based, nut based, and caffeinated beverages. To meet these demands, manufacturers must conquer a considerable learning curve and changes in processing and establishing new critical risk-based control points.

Offsetting 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 limitations, and uphold safety standards. Critical monitoring of diverse low-acid products requires precise handling of risk points for microbiological and chemical hazards including allergens. In addition, frequent change-overs of product and packaging increases the risk of microbial contamination.

The Limitations of Conventional Microbiological Testing

Conventional microbial testing proves too slow to support modern just-in-time inventory management resulting in stalled delivery of these products to the marketplace. More critically, the time spent testing with traditional methods may not detect contamination events quickly enough to prevent costly product losses in extended production runs.

Most manufacturing facilities cannot afford the expense of keeping a microbiologist on staff.  Without this skill level in place, there is significant room for error when performing and interpreting traditional microbial testing.

The Race Against Time

Utilizing a rapid microbial method results in a faster alert of a contamination event. In less than 48 hours you will be provided the invaluable opportunity to stop production and avoid greater losses.

Hold times will be significantly reduced for confirmatory testing allowing for faster evaluation, segregation, and release of quarantined product.

At Charm Sciences, we’re strategizing solutions that supplement this expertise, ensuring safe 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 EPIC Microbial ATP System for Low-Acid Products

The 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*

Dairy Nut-based Plant-based 

Nutraceuticals/ Non-Dairy

Caffeinated RTD RTE
Milk (0% – 3.5% fat) Almond Rice Infant formula Black coffees Broths
Creams (10% – 40% fat) Coconut Oat Nutraceuticals Coffee with dairy creamer Puddings/custards
Flavored milks Coconut water Flax Non-dairy creamers Coffee with plant-based creamers
Lactose reduced/free milk Cashew Hemp
Ice cream mixes and shakes Walnut Soy
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

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