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Thermal Inactivation of Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella senftenberg, and Enzymes with Potential as Time-Temperature Indicators in Ground Beef

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The USDA has established processing schedules for beef products based on the destruction of pathogens. Several enzymes have been suggested as potential indicators of heat processing. However, no relationship between the inactivation rates of these enzymes and those of pathogenic microorganisms has been determined. Our objective was to compare the thermal inactivation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella senftenberg to those of endogenous muscle proteins. Inoculated and noninoculated ground beef samples were heated at four temperatures for predetermined intervals of time in thermal-death-time studies. Bacterial counts were determined and enzymes were assayed for residual activity. The D values for E. coli O157:H7 were 46.10, 6.44, 0.43, and 0.12 min at 53, 58, 63, and 68°C, respectively, with a z value of 5.60°C. The D values for S. senftenberg were 53.00, 15.17, 2.08, and 0.22 min at 53, 58, 63, and 68°C, respectively, with a z value of 6.24°C. Apparent D values at 53, 58, 63, and 68°C were 352.93, 26.31, 5.56, and 3.33 min for acid phosphatase; 6968.64, 543.48, 19.61, and 1.40 min for lactate dehydrogenase; and 3870.97, 2678.59, 769.23, and 42.92 min for peroxidase; with z values of 7.41, 3.99, and 7.80°C, respectively. Apparent D values at 53, 58, 63, and 66°C were 325.03, 60.07, 3.07, and 1.34 min for phosphoglycerate mutase; 606.72, 89.86, 4.40, and 1.28 min for glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase; and 153.06, 20.13, 2.25, and 0.74 min for triose phosphate isomerase; with z values of 5.18, 4.71, and 5.56°C, respectively. The temperature dependence of triose phosphate isomerase was similar to those of both E. coli O157:H7 and S. senftenberg, suggesting that this enzyme could be used as an endogenous time-temperature indicator in beef products.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1224, USA

Publication date: May 1, 1997

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