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The growth of psychrotrophic Bacillus cereus 404 from spores in boiled rice was examined experimentally at 15, 20, and 30°C. Using the Gompertz function, observed growth was modeled, and these kinetic values were compared with kinetic values for the growth of mesophilic vegetative
cells as predicted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Pathogen Modeling Program, version 5.1. An analysis of variance indicated no statistically significant difference between observed and predicted values. A graphical comparison of kinetic values demonstrated that modeled predictions
were "fail safe" for generation time and exponential growth rate at all temperatures. The model also was fail safe for lag-phase duration at 20 and 30°C but not at 15°C. Bias factors of 0.55, 0.82, and 1.82 for generation time, lag-phase duration, and exponential growth rate, respectively,
indicated that the model generally was fail safe and hence provided a margin of safety in its growth predictions. Accuracy factors of 1.82, 1.60, and 1.82 for generation time, lag-phase duration, and exponential growth rate, respectively, quantitatively demonstrated the degree of difference
between predicted and observed values. Although the Pathogen Modeling Program produced reasonably accurate predictions of the growth of psychrotrophic B. cereus from spores in boiled rice, the margin of safety provided by the model may be more conservative than desired for some applications.
It is recommended that if microbial growth modeling is to be applied to any food safety or processing situation, it is best to validate the model before use. Once experimental data are gathered, graphical and quantitative methods of analysis can be useful tools for evaluating specific trends
in model prediction and identifying important deviations between predicted and observed data.
Document Type: Short Communication
Department of Food Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-7624, USA
Publication date: February 1, 2000
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