The natural microflora of cold-smoked fish at the end of shelf-life are lactic acid bacteria (LAB). Some of these display a capacity to inhibit spoilage as well as several strains of pathogenic micro-organisms, e.g. Listeria monocytogenes which is isolated frequently from cold-smoked salmon (CSS). Eight batches of sliced vacuum-packed CSS from Norway, Scotland and Spain were collected at retail. Packs were stored at 5 degrees C and examined for chemical and microbiological characteristics, at purchase date and at expiration date. pH, water activity and salt content were similar to available data on lightly preserved fish products. There was a consistent pattern in the development of the microflora on CSS; the initial level of LAB was low on freshly produced CSS (10(2) cfu g(-1)); however, storage in vacuum packaging at refrigeration temperature was elective for LAB. At the end of the stated shelf-life these micro-organisms, represented mainly by Lactobacillus spp., attained ca.10(7) cfu g(-1) while Enterobacteriaceae counts were consistently lower (10(5) cfu g(-1)), which indicates the ability of LAB to grow and compete with few carbohydrates available and in the presence of moderate salt concentrations. L. monocytogenes was not found in any sample. Forty-one percent of LAB strains isolated exhibited inhibitory capacity against Listeria innocua, in a plate assay. A majority of the inhibitory effects were non-bacteriocinogenic, but nevertheless were very competitive cultures which may provide an additional hurdle for improved preservation by natural means.
The objective of this study was to evaluate (eO), a biological time temperature integrator (TTI) as a quality and safety indicator for ground beef packed under modified atmosphere and spiced cooked chicken slices packed under modified atmosphere. Storage trials and challenge tests were thus performed on several batches of the studied food to monitor and model the behavior of Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus and the indigenous food flora. Then, two different prototypes of the TTI (eO) were set and manufactured according to the studied products shelf lives. The TTI evolution with time at static and dynamic temperatures was monitored and modeled. Finally, exposure assessment models were set and used under several realistic storage profiles to assess the distributions of the concentration of the indigenous food flora and the distributions of the increase in the pathogens populations obtained at the end of the product shelf life or at the end point of the TTI, taking into account the TTIs batch variability. Results showed that in case of poor storage conditions, TTI can reduce the consumer exposure to altered or hazardous foods.
Lamb chops inoculated with 2.23-2.83 log cfu/g of E. coli O157:H7 strain NCTC 12900 were packed in air (AP), vacuum (VP), and two modified atmospheres (MAP) consisting of 100% CO2 and a commercial mixture of 35% CO2/35% O2/30% N2. All samples (initial total counts
The food industry, including the meat industry, is currently looking for natural preservatives to prevent the growth of harmful microbes in foods. The potential of plant-derived antimicrobial extracts to increase the shelf life and to delay the microbiological spoilage of marinated broiler chicken cuts in modified atmosphere packages during cold storage was investigated in this study. We evaluated the impact of aqueous ethanolic extracts of Finnish sea buckthorn berries and lingonberries and supercritical CO2-extracted herbal extracts from an antimicrobial blend and oregano leaves on the shelf life of broiler meat. The commercial antimicrobial blend extract and the oregano extract inhibited the growth of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and Brochothrix thermosphacta in the marinated samples. The antimicrobial blend extract also reduced the growth of psychrotrophic aerobic bacteria, whereas the sea buckthorn and lingonberry extracts did not. Only minor antimicrobial activity against Enterobacteriaceae by all the extracts was observed. Plate count analysis, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, and quantitative real-time PCR indicated that LAB, which are the major spoilage group in marinated modified atmosphere-packaged poultry products, were not significantly affected by the berry extracts studied. During this shelf-life study, LAB isolates of Lactobacillus and Leuconostoc were identified in the marinated samples. Antimicrobial blends and oregano leaf extracts can act as antimicrobial agents in marinade blends, although tailoring of the dose is needed because of their strong taste. Further studies for exploiting synergistic effects of plant extracts could contribute to the development of potential and more effective antimicrobial blends. Studies are needed in meat matrices and in product applications to demonstrate the efficacy of these compounds.
Australian Food Safety Centre of Excellence, Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural Research, School of Agricultural Science, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 54, Hobart 7001, Tasmania, Australia. email@example.com
Two commercially available organic acid salts, potassium lactate (PURASAL HiPure P) and a potassium lactate-sodium diacetate blend (PURASAL Opti. Form PD 4), were assessed as potential inhibitors of Listeria monocytogenes growth in modified atmosphere packaged (MAP) sliced ham in challenge studies. The influence of the initial inoculation level of L. monocytogenes (10(1) or 10(3) CFU g(-1)) and storage temperature (4 or 8 degrees C) was also examined. The addition of either organic acid salt to MAP sliced ham strongly inhibited the growth of L. monocytogenes during the normal shelf life of the product under ideal refrigeration conditions (4 degrees C) and even under abusive temperature conditions (i.e., 8 degrees C). During the challenge studies and in the absence of either organic acid salt, L. monocytogenes numbers increased by 1000-fold after 20 days at 8 degrees C and 10-fold after 42 days at 4 degrees C. Both organic acid salt treatments were found to be listeriostatic rather than listericidal. The addition of either organic acid salt to the MAP ham also reduced the growth of indigenous microflora, i.e., aerobic microflora and lactic acid bacteria. The influence of these compounds on the risk of listeriosis in relation to product shelf life is discussed.
Food Safety Intervention Technologies Research Unit, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Eastern Regional Research Center, 600 East Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania 19038, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Minimally processed fruits and vegetables have a limited shelf life because of deterioration caused by spoilage microflora and physiological processes. Cutting may increase microbial spoilage of fruits through transfer of microflora on the outer surfaces to the interior tissue. The objectives of this study were to use the vacuum-steam-vacuum (VSV) process to reduce indigenous spoilage microflora on the surface of cantaloupes and to investigate the effects of such treatments on transfer of spoilage microflora from the cantaloupe surface to the fresh-cut melon during rind removal and cutting. Whole cantaloupes were treated in the VSV processor, and fresh-cut pieces prepared from treated and control samples were stored at 5 and 10 degrees C for up to 9 days. Presence and growth of mesophilic bacteria, yeasts and molds, and Pseudomonas spp. were determined in fresh-cut samples during storage. Texture and color (CIE L*, a*, and b*) also were measured during storage. VSV treatment resulted in a 1.0-log reduction of aerobic mesophilic bacteria, a 2.0-log reduction of yeasts and molds, and a 1.5-log reduction of Pseudomonas spp. on cantaloupe surfaces. VSV treatment significantly reduced transfer of yeasts and molds and Pseudomonas spp. from whole cantaloupe surface to fresh-cut pieces during preparation (P
Fate of Listeria monocytogenes on fully ripened Greek Graviera cheese stored at 4, 12, or 25 degrees C in air or vacuum packages: in situ PCR detection of a cocktail of bacteriocins potentially contributing to pathogen inhibition.
The behavior of Listeria monocytogenes on fully ripened Greek Graviera cheese was evaluated. Three batches (A, B, and C) were tested. Batches A and C were prepared with a commercial starter culture, while in batch B the starter culture was combined with an enterocin-producing Enterococcus faecium Graviera isolate. Cheese pieces were surface inoculated with a five-strain cocktail of L. monocytogenes at ca. 3 log CFU/cm2, packed under air or vacuum conditions, stored at 4, 12, or 25 degrees C, and analyzed after 0, 3, 7, 15, 30, 60, and 90 days. L. monocytogenes did not grow on the cheese surface, regardless of storage conditions. However, long-term survival of the pathogen was noted in all treatments, being the highest (P
Beef steaks retail-packed with (80% O(2), 20% CO(2)) or without oxygen (either skin-packed or gas-packed (69.6% N(2), 30% CO(2), 0.04% CO or 70% N(2), 30% CO(2))) were compared by consumers in Denmark (n=382), Norway (n=316) and Sweden (n=374). Two pairs of two steaks - one steak packed in a high oxygen atmosphere and one packed without oxygen - were given to the consumers. They were instructed to prepare the steaks at home on two consecutive days, and two persons had to taste each steak. In Denmark, the oxygen-free packing was either gas packing with CO (69.6% N(2), 30% CO(2), 0.04% CO) or without CO (70% N(2), 30% CO(2)), in Norway it was either gas packing with CO (69.6% N(2), 30% CO(2), 0.04% CO) or skin packing, and in Sweden it was either skin packing or gas packing without CO (70% N(2), 30% CO(2)). The meat represented animals that were between 17 and 80 months old (Denmark) and young bulls (Norway and Sweden). Consumers in all three countries clearly preferred steaks packed without oxygen, in terms of overall liking, willingness to pay and their preferred choice of one steak. Furthermore, they preferred the oxygen-free steaks in terms of both overall liking and liking of tenderness, juiciness and flavour. In Sweden, many consumers would pay more than usual for the skin-packed steak, and it was more often chosen as the preferred steak out of the four compared with gas-packed without oxygen. No difference was seen between the two oxygen-free packing methods in Denmark and Norway.
Occurrence and importance of psychrotolerant histamine producing bacteria in chilled fresh tuna were demonstrated in the present study. The objective was to evaluate microbial formation of histamine and biogenic amines in chilled fresh tuna from the Indian Ocean and stored either vacuum-packed (VP) or modified atmosphere-packed (MAP). Firstly, biogenic amines and the dominating microbiota were determined in VP tuna involved in an outbreak of histamine fish poisoning in Denmark. Secondly, the microbiota of fresh MAP tuna was evaluated at the time of processing in Sri Lanka and chemical, microbial and sensory changes were evaluated during storage at 1-3 degrees C. To explain the results obtained with naturally contaminated tuna the effect of VP and MAP on biogenic amine formation by psychrotolerant bacteria was evaluated in challenge tests at 2 degrees C and 10 degrees C. The VP tuna that caused histamine fish poisoning had a histamine concentration of >7000 mg/kg and this high concentration was most likely produced by psychrotolerant Morganella morganii-like bacteria or by Photobacterium phosphoreum. Similar psychrotolerant M. morganii-like bacteria dominated the spoilage microbiota of fresh MAP tuna with 60% CO2/40% N2 and formed >5000 mg/kg of histamine after 24 days at 1.7 degrees C. These psychrotolerant bacteria were biochemically similar to M. morganii subsp. morganii and their 16S rDNA (1495 bp) showed >98% sequence similarity to the type strain of this species. Toxic concentrations of histamine were produced at 2.1 degrees C in inoculated VP tuna by both the psychrotolerant M. morganii-like bacteria (7400+/-1050 mg/kg) and P. phosphoreum (4250+/-2050 mg/kg). Interestingly, MAP with 40% CO2/60% O2, in challenge tests, had a strong inhibitory effect on growth and histamine formation by both the psychrotolerant M. morganii-like bacteria and P. phosphoreum. In agreement with this, no formation of histamine was found in naturally contaminated fresh MAP tuna with 40% CO2/60% O2 during 28 days of storage at 1.0 degrees C. To reduce current problems with histamine fish poisoning due to VP tuna it is suggested, for lean tuna loins, to replace vacuum packaging with MAP containing approximately 40% CO2 and approximately 60% O2.