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Effects of Combined Electron-Beam Irradiation and Sous-Vide Treatments on Microbiological and Other Qualities of Chicken Breast Meat

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The microbiological safety, refrigeration shelf-life, and nutritional quality of chicken breast meat were investigated following combined electron-beam irradiation and cooking under vacuum (sous-vide). Chicken breast meat inoculated with 106 CFU/g of Listeria monocytogenes was irradiated with an electron beam at doses up to 3.1 kGy under vacuum in barrier bags, cooked in a boiling water bath for 3 min 45 s (previously determined to achieve an internal temperature of 71.1°C), and stored at 8°C for up to 5 weeks. Listeria was undetectable in samples treated with combined sous-vide and irradiation at 3.1 kGy, but the organism survived the sous-vide treatment without irradiation and multiplied during storage. A similar study, conducted with uninoculated chicken breast meat, revealed that the product which received both irradiation (3 kGy) and sous-vide treatment had a shelf-life of at least 8 weeks at 8°C, whereas the unirradiated samples treated sous-vide spoiled in 16 days. Listeria was undetectable in combination treated samples, but some of the unirradiated sous-vide samples tested after long storage showed high levels of Listeria. Some loss of thiamine occurred with the combined treatments.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Radiation Applications Research Branch, AECL Research, Whiteshell Laboratories, Pinawa, Manitoba, R0E 1L0, CANADA

Publication date: May 1, 1995

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