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Effect of X-Ray Irradiation on Reducing the Risk of Listeriosis in Ready-to-Eat Vacuum-Packaged Smoked Mullet

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Listeria monocytogenes can pose a serious threat in several areas of the nation's food supply including ready-to-eat seafood products. Use of irradiation processing can potentially reduce the risk of listeriosis caused by consumption of ready-to-eat seafood products. This study measured the effect of X-ray irradiation on reducing the population of L. monocytogenes on ready-to-eat, vacuum-packaged smoked mullet. Smoked mullet were inoculated with a five-strain mixture of L. monocytogenes (104 CFU/g), vacuum packaged, and irradiated (0, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 kGy). The packaged fish were then stored at 3 and 10°C for 90 and 17 days, respectively. Radiation doses of 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 kGy reduced the initial population of L. monocytogenes by 1.1, 1.6, and 2.1 log CFU/g, respectively. The 2.0-kGy dose reduced L. monocytogenes to undetectable levels with no recovery growth at either temperature. Compared to the control, irradiation at 1.5 kGy demonstrated 1.0 and 1.7 log CFU/g less growth at 3°C after 60 days and 10°C after 17 days, respectively. Sensory flavor analysis was conducted to determine if a difference existed between irradiated samples. Panelists indicated that there were no differences among treated and untreated samples. An X-ray dose of 2 kGy effectively eliminated 104 CFU/g L. monocytogenes on smoked mullet without changing sensory quality.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Food Science, Nutrition, and Health Promotion, Mississippi State University, Box 9805, Mississippi State, Mississippi 39762, USA 2: Experimental Seafood Processing Laboratory, Coastal Research and Extension Center, Mississippi State University, 3411 Frederick Street, Pascagoula, Mississippi 39567, USA 3: National Fisheries Institute, 7918 Jones Branch Drive, Suite 700, McLean, Virginia 22102, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2006

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