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Detection of Escherichia coli in Packaged Alfalfa Sprouts with an Electronic Nose and an Artificial Neural Network

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Abstract:

A rapid method for the detection of Escherichia coli (ATCC 25922) in packaged alfalfa sprouts was developed. Volatile compounds from the headspace of packaged alfalfa sprouts, inoculated with E. coli and incubated at 10°C for 1, 2, and 3 days, were collected and analyzed. Uninoculated sprouts were used as control samples. An electronic nose with 12 metal oxide electronic sensors was used to monitor changes in the composition of the gas phase of the package headspace with respect to volatile metabolites produced by E. coli. The electronic nose was able to differentiate between samples with and without E. coli. To predict the number of E. coli in packaged alfalfa sprouts, an artificial neural network was used, which included an input layer, a hidden layer, and an output layer, with a hyperbolic tangent sigmoidal transfer function in the hidden layer and a linear transfer function in the output layer. The network was shown to be capable of correlating voltametric responses with the number of E. coli. A good prediction was possible, as measured by a regression coefficient (R 2 = 0.903) between the actual and predicted data. In conjunction with the artificial neural network, the electronic nose proved to have the ability to detect E. coli in packaged alfalfa sprouts.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Food Technology, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand 2: Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA 3: School of Packaging, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2006

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