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A collection of financial information, grouped according to customer or purpose, including: expenses, dates, names, and purchase amounts and payment types. A written record of an account is called a statement.

Accounts payable

Amounts that your business owes as evidenced by invoices or other documents. Invoices paid by check or cash as they are incurred are generally not run through accounts payable. Only outstanding items, which will be paid at a later date are generally included in accounts payable.

Accounts receivable

Amounts owed to your business that you expect to receive.

Acid Food

Product with a natural pH of 4.6 or below. Ex. tomatoes, citrus fruits, rhubarb, peaches, grapes, cherries, apples.

Acidified Food

Low-acid foods that have their pH lowered to 4.6 or less by the addition of acids or acid foods. Ex. pickles.


Chemical approved for the control of oxidation (rancidity) in food products. USDA approved antioxidants include: BHT, BHA, propyl gallate. Regulations limit concentration to 0.003% for individual chemicals, 0.006% for combinations.


Generally describes cash, accounts receivable, investments, and fixed asset accounts.


Acute food poisoning caused by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Foods with a pH higher than 4.6 are susceptible to the growth of this and other harmful microorganisms.


A salt solution.


A measure of the density of a solution, expressed in degrees Brix. The °Brix of a solution = the percent Sucrose of the solution at room temperature.


A mixture containing both a weak acid and a weak base capable of absorbing additions of either h3 acid or h3 base with little corresponding change in pH. Buffers are used for calibrating pH meters.

Business Plan

An ever-evolving document which specifies they type of business being run, the goals for the business, detailed plans for achieving those goals, and research-supported reasons why the business should pursue a particular direction.


Process by which a food product is enclosed in a sterilized container totally impervious to microbes and heated until all microorganisms inside the container are killed. Food products may be "canned" in cans, jars, or some plastic pouches.


Represents the value (on paper) of the ownership of the business. Includes an account that records the net profit/loss at the end of the year.

Chart of Accounts

Lists all the existing accounts, segregated into major groups called "Assets," "Liabilities," "Capital," "Income," and "Expenses." The list usually includes: the account number, the title of the account, and a description of the information recorded in the account.

Cold Smoked

Product is smoked in a relatively cool smoking chamber and not cooked. Product not considered shelf-stable requires maintenance of at most a 41 degree F. internal product temperature during smoking.

Critical Control Point (CCP)

A point in the process of manufacturing a food (raw material, location, practice, procedure) at which one or more factors can be controlled to minimize or prevent hazard. (see HACCP)


The part of the pH meter which, when immersed in a product sample, senses electrical potentials which are then converted to the pH measurement for that sample.

Equilibrium pH

The final pH measured in an acidified food after all the components of the food have achieved the same acidity


Record the cost of doing business. Generally divided into groups representing the costs of producing products or service, administrative or overhead costs, and other items, such as depreciation.


Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point system based on science and logic which identifies hazards in food production and establishes preventative measured for their control. A plan outlining this system for a food production process is called a HACCP plan.

Hot Smoked

Cooking and smoking cycles are combined. Smoking process takes place during the early portion of the cook cycle. Specific time/temperature requirements apply depending on the type of meat being hot smoked.


Record various types of income, often segregated by type of product or service, as well as interest income, etc.

Information Panel (IP)

Label panel immediately to the right of the principal display panel. Nutritional labeling, ingredient listing and manufacturer information are displayed here.


Vary greatly. Typically prepared from strips of lean muscle cut with the muscle fiber grain. Seasoned with marinade or rubbed with salt & pepper mixture. Shelf-stable, ready-to-eat. USDA regulated moisture protein ratio max. of 0.75 : 1.

Kippered Meats

Similar to jerky but with a moisture protein ratio of 2.03 : 1 or lower. Not shelf-stable without further controls such as vacuum packaging or heat processing.


The physical set of records, either manual or computerized, that represents the accounting for your business. Includes revenues, expenditures, accounts receivable and accounts payable, inventory and fixed assets. A General Ledger contains recordings of all business transactions that have happened during the course of a taxable year.


Describes accounts recording how much you owe to others. Includes accounts payable, payroll tax and benefits liabilities, short term loans or notes, and long term loans or notes.

Liquid Smoke

Any USDA approved smoke that has been distilled onto a liquid carrier for application to a food product.

Low Acid Food

Food (other than alcoholic beverages) with a pH between 4.6 and 7.0. Does not refer to foods with a low pH. Ex. most vegetables, meat, milk, some tropical fruits, fish, eggs.

Marketing Plan

Document outlining marketing strategy for a product including marketing goals and methods for achieving those goals with reference to the aims of the business as a whole.

Moisture/Protein Ratio (MPR)

The percent moisture of a product divided by the percent protein of a product. Most often used in meat product analysis to determine product safety and shelf-stability.

Net Quantity

Actual weight of food contents of a package.


A heat treatment of food given for a short duration at a temperature generally below boiling point. Designed to kill those microorganisms living in a food which will harm consumers. Does not kill all living organisms. Usually combined with refrigeration of final product.


The measure of the acidity of a sample

pH Meter

Tool used to measure the pH of a sample. pH meters come in a variety of prices and accuracies.


Parts per million. Used to describe the concentration of one ingredient in another. Ex: 156 ppm of nitrites in 100 lbs. of meat.

Prague Powder ("Curing Salts)"

A salt-based carrier of meat curing chemicals. When used correctly, 4oz. of formulation salt can be substituted for 4oz. of Prague Powder, providing the exact 156 ppm maximum "cure" to 100 lbs. of meat.

Principal Display Panel (PDP)

Portion of the package most likely to be seen by customers at the time of purchase. Statement of identity and net quantity are must be displayed here.

Process Authority

Based on regulations, a person or institution with expert knowledge and experience to make determinations about the safety of a food process and formulation. A Process Authority is required to maintain product confidentiality.


Food quality is the result of three major components: appearance (size, shape, color); flavor (taste on the tongue, odor in the nose); texture (how product feels in the hand, in the mouth as it is chewed, or how it pours).

Sausage, Dry

(Moisture protein ratio max. range of 2.25-3.7 : 1) fermented sausage which undergoes a moisture loss of up to 25% of the total. Final water activity ranges from .85-.91. Typical pH ranges from 4.7-5.0. Many are shelf-stable due to low water activity. Ex. Pepperoni, Salami.

Sausage, Fermented

A class of chopped or ground meat products that, as a result of microbial fermentation of sugar, have reached a pH of 5.3 (although 4.6-5.0 is more typical) and have undergone a drying/aging process to remove 15-35% of the moisture.

Sausage, Semi-Dry

(Moisture protein ratio max. range of 1.6-2.3 : 1) fermented sausage which undergoes a moisture loss of up to 15% of the total. Final water activities range from .90-.94. Generally smoked/cooked prior to consumption. Require refrigeration. Ex. Summer sausage, Thuringer, Cervelat.

Scheduled Process

A detailed procedure for a single product issued by a recognized Process Authority that includes formulation, critical control points, processing steps, and storage, distribution and selling conditions/restrictions.


The length of time between packaging and use that a food product remains of acceptable quality to the user.


Foods considered non-perishable at room temperature for an acceptable period of time (generally weeks or months).

Vacuum Packaged

Food is placed in an air-tight package and all the air removed prior to sealing to prevent growth of microorganisms.

Value-Added Food

Food to which value has been added through special growing, processing or packaging techniques.

Water Activity (aw)

A measure of the moisture available for microbial growth in a product. Measurements range from 0.00 (dry) to 1.00 (pure water).

Water Phase Salt (WPS)

A measure of percent salt based on an analysis of the water phase of the tissue of a product, as opposed to the percent salt based on an analysis of the surface of a product. Used primarily in the fish industry.