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Sensitivities of Foodborne Pathogens to Pressure Changes

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Eight foodborne pathogens were suspended in ultrahigh-temperature whole milk and treated at pressure levels of 0.1 to 690 MPa at 21.5°C for 10 min. There was no clear trend in pressure resistance between gram-negative and gram-positive organisms. The order of the single strains tested, from most to least pressure sensitive, was Vibrio parahaemolyticus < Yersinia enterocolitica < Listeria monocytogenes < Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium < S. enterica serovar Enteritidis < Escherichia coli O157:H7 ≅ Staphylococcus aureus < Shigella flexneri. For each organism there existed a pressure range in which log(number of survivors) had a near linear relationship when plotted versus treatment pressure level. In this study, a decimal reduction pressure (DP ) value was defined and used to measure the sensitivity of these pathogens to pressure changes. L. monocytogenes and V. parahaemolyticus were most sensitive to pressure changes, and S. flexneri was most resistant. The DP values were 16.3 MPa for L. monocytogenes, 21.7 MPa for V. parahaemolyticus, and 127.0 MPa for S. flexneri. The most pressure-resistant gram-negative bacterium, S. flexneri, and most pressure-resistant gram-positive bacterium, S. aureus, were treated at 50°C and pressures of 0.1 to 650 MPa for 10 min. High temperature considerably enhanced pressure inactivation of these two organisms and affected their sensitivities to pressure changes. The effect of treatment time on the DP values of L. monocytogenes and V. parahaemolyticus was also determined, and it was found that it did not significantly affect their DP values.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Animal and Food Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware 19716-2150, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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