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Effect of Spices and Organic Acids on the Growth of Clostridium perfringens during Cooling of Cooked Ground Beef

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This study evaluated the effect of organic acids and spices, alone or combined, on Clostridium perfringens growth in cooked ground beef during alternative cooling procedures. Ground beef was inoculated with a three-strain cocktail of C. perfringens (ATCC 10388, NCTC 8238, and NCTC 8239) at 2 log spores per g and prepared following an industrial recipe (10% water, 1.5% sodium chloride, and 0.5% sodium triphosphate [wt/wt]). Treatments consisted of the base meat plus combinations of commercial solutions of sodium lactate or sodium citrate (0 or 2%, wt/wt) with chili, garlic and herbs, curry, oregano, or clove in commercial powder form (0 or 1%, wt/wt). Untreated meat was used as a control. Vacuum-packaged samples of each treatment were cooked (75°C for 20 min) and cooled from 54.4 to 7.2°C in 15, 18, or 21 h. Spore counts were estimated after inoculation, cooking, and cooling. All treatments containing sodium citrate reduced the population of C. perfringens about 0.38 to 1.14 log units during each of the three cooling procedures. No sodium citrate and spice treatment combinations showed antagonisms or synergisms. Regardless of the cooling time, the control ground beef or treatments with any of the five spices alone supported C. perfringens growth above the U.S. Department of Agriculture stabilization guidelines of 1 log unit. Except for the 21-h cooling period, addition of sodium lactate prevented C. perfringens growth over 1 log unit. Depending on the cooling time and spice, some combinations of sodium lactate and spice kept C. perfringens growth below 1 log unit.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Division of Biology, Ackert 17, Department of Animal Science and Industry, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66506 2: Microbial Food Safety Research Unit, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Eastern Regional Research Center, 600 Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania 19038-8598, USA 3: Food Science Institute, Department of Animal Science and Industry, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66506

Publication date: September 1, 2004

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