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Home-Style Beef Jerky: Effect of Four Preparation Methods on Consumer Acceptability and Pathogen Inactivation

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The safety of homemade jerky continues to be questioned. Producing a safe product that retains acceptable quality attributes is important. Lethality of Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157:H7, and Listeria monocytogenes as well as consumer acceptability and sensory attributes of jerky prepared by four methods were examined. Preparation methods were drying marinated strips at 60°C (representing a traditional method), boiling strips in marinade or heating in an oven to 71°C prior to drying, and heating strips in an oven after drying to 71°C. A 60-member consumer panel rated overall acceptability. A 10-member descriptive panel evaluated quality attributes. Samples heated after drying and samples boiled in marinade prior to drying had slightly higher acceptability scores but were not statistically different from traditional samples. Although the four treatments were significantly different in color (P = 0.0001), saltiness (P = 0.0001), and texture (P = 0.0324), only texture appeared to influence overall consumer acceptability. Microbial challenge studies subjecting the pathogens to the four treatments showed a 5.8-, 3.9-, and 4.6-log reduction of E. coli O157:H7, L. monocytogenes, and Salmonella, respectively, even with traditional drying. Oven treatment of strips after drying was shown to have the potential to reduce pathogen populations further by approximately 2 logs. In conclusion, a safer, yet acceptable home-dried beef jerky product can be produced by oven-heating jerky strips after drying.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Foods and Nutrition, Department of Food Science and Technology, The University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602, USA 2: Center for Food Safety, Department of Food Science and Technology, The University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602, USA

Publication date: 2001-08-01

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