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Validation and Analysis of Modeled Predictions of Growth of Bacillus cereus Spores in Boiled Rice

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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

Affiliations: Department of Food Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-7624, USA

Publication date: February 1, 2000

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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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