Microbiological Quality and Shelf Life Modeling of Ready-to-Eat Cicorino

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Growth of the microbial population resident in ready-to-use fresh cut cicorino, a variety of Chichorium intybus, was determined in the various preparation steps with the aim of defining the hazard critical control points. The investigation concerned cut cicorino from two producers. During the process a 1- to 1.5-fold increase of microbial counts was observed, and the retail product showed values of 105 to 106 CFU/g. The shelf life of the product was kinetically modeled in order to check the effects of storage temperature and assess the microbial indexes most relevant for hygiene and quality of the distributed product. A modified Gompertz function described the kinetics of microbial growth and allowed definition of a stability time and its dependence on temperature. Stability times were of 0.3, 3.7, and 4.7 days at storage temperatures of 20, 10, and 5°C, respectively. Q 10 (the fold decrease of stability time for an increase of 10°C) was 3.85. The results from this study may be used to predict the effects of temperatures experienced in the distribution chain on bacterial levels in cicorino.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Alimentari e Microbiologiche, Università degli Studi di Milano, via Celoria, 2 20133 Milano, Italy

Publication date: February 1, 2001

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