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Effect of Growth Stage and Processing Temperature on the Inactivation of E. coli by Pulsed Electric Fields

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The effect of growth stage and processing temperature on the inactivation of Escherichia coli subjected to pulsed electric fields was studied. Simulated milk ultrafiltrate (SMUF) inoculated with E. coli was subjected to high-intensity exponentially decaying or square-wave pulses with a field strength of 36 kV/cm and pulse duration of 2 μs at selected temperatures ranging between 3 and 40°C. The rate of inactivation increased with an increase in the processing temperature. Furthermore, square-wave pulses were more lethal than exponentially decaying pulses. At 7°C after 100 μs, square-wave pulses produced a 99% decrease while exponential decaying pulses produced a 93% decrease in bacterial cell population. Cells harvested at lag, log, and stationary phases were subjected to 2 and 4 pulses with an electric field intensity of 36 kV/cm at 7°C. Logarithmic-phase cells were more sensitive than stationary- and lag-phase cells to the pulsed electric field treatment.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biological Systems Engineering, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164-6120, USA 2: Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164-6120, USA

Publication date: November 1, 1996

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    First published in 1937, the Journal of Food Protection®, is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection® is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

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