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Effect of Salting and Cold-Smoking Process on the Culturability, Viability, and Virulence of Listeria monocytogenes Strain Scott A

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The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of the different steps of the cold-smoking process and vacuum storage on the culturability and viability of Listeria monocytogenes strain Scott A inoculated in sterile salmon samples. Additionally, the virulence of L. monocytogenes cells was assessed by intravenous inoculation of immunocompetent mice. Salmon (Salmo salar) portions were inoculated with L. monocytogenes at a level of 6 log CFU/g and were then dry salted (5.9%), smoked (0.74 mg phenol per 100 g), partially frozen (-7°C), vacuum packed, and stored for 10 days at 4°C followed by 18 days at 8°C. Salting represented the only step of the process with a weak but significant listericidal effect (0.6 log reduction). Although the other processing steps had no immediate reduction effect on L. monocytogenes, the combination of steps significantly lowered by 1.6 log CFU/g the number of L. monocytogenes. The culturable count remained less than 7 log CFU/g until the end of the storage period, whereas in unprocessed samples (control) the culturable counts reached values up to 9 log CFU/g. To mimic a postprocess contamination, salmon portions were also inoculated with L. monocytogenes after being cold-smoke processed. A reduction of the culturable count during the 2 first weeks of storage was observed, but then growth occurred and identical values observed for preprocess contamination were reached at the end of the storage. A viable but nonculturable state transition of strain Scott A was not observed, and the cold-smoking process did not affect the virulence of bacteria isolated at the beginning and end of the storage.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Unité Mixte de Recherche Institut National de Recherche Agronomique Sécurité Alimentaire 1014, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Nantes, Route de Gachet, BP 40706-44307 Nantes Cedex 03, France 2: Laboratoire de Génie Alimentaire, Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer, Rue de l'Ile d'Yeu, BP 21105-44311 Nantes Cedex 03, France

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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