A novel spray cabinet technique was developed to determine the microbial integrity of aseptically filled juice packages as an alternative to immersion techniques. The spray cabinet was constructed to include two pumps and 32 nozzles to achieve complete coverage over all surfaces of the test packages. A cell culture of Lactobacillus cellobiosus was sprayed onto the packages during testing. Standard pinhole orifices were used to determine the efficiency of the spray cabinet technique, 10-μm holes and 5-μm holes were detectable after 15 and 30 min of spraying, respectively. Aseptically filled juice packages were subjected to an abusive handling procedure designed to create package defects in order to compare package integrity by the spray cabinet technique and an immersion method. The spray cabinet technique provided better detectability than the immersion method.

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