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COMPUTER-CONTROLLED MICROWAVE HEATING TO IN-PACKAGE PASTEURIZE BEEF FRANKFURTERS FOR ELIMINATION OF LISTERIA MONOCYTOGENES

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ABSTRACT

The objective of this study was to develop an in-package pasteurization technology to kill Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat meats using microwave heating. This technology utilized an infrared sensor to monitor the surface temperature of beef frankfurters during microwave heating. The aim was to increase the surface temperature of frankfurters to a set point lethal to L. monocytogenes. A feedback control mechanism was used to control the power to the microwave oven. Results indicated that the simple on-off control mechanism was able to maintain the surface temperature of beef frankfurters near the respective set points of 75, 80 or 85C used in this study. This pasteurization process was able to achieve a 7-log reduction of L. monocytogenes in inoculated beef frankfurters using a 600-W nominally rated microwave oven within 12–15 min. If optimized, this system may provide the food industry with a terminal, postlethality pasteurization technology to kill L. monocytogenes in ready-to-eat meats within the final packages.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: U.S. Department of Agriculture Eastern Regional Research Center Agricultural Research Service 600 E. Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, PA 19038

Publication date: 2005-10-01

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