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Modeling the Effect of Prior Sublethal Thermal History on the Thermal Inactivation Rate of Salmonella in Ground Turkey

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Traditional models for predicting the thermal inactivation rate of bacteria are state dependent, considering only the current state of the product. In this study, the potential for previous sublethal thermal history to increase the thermotolerance of Salmonella in ground turkey was determined, a path-dependent model for thermal inactivation was developed, and the pathdependent predictions were tested against independent data. Weibull-Arrhenius parameters for Salmonella inactivation in ground turkey thigh were determined via isothermal tests at 55, 58, 61, and 63°C. Two sets of nonisothermal heating tests also were conducted. The first included five linear heating rates (0.4, 0.9, 1.7, 3.5, and 7.0 K/min) and three holding temperatures (55, 58, and 61°C); the second also included sublethal holding periods at 40, 45, and 50°C. When the standard Weibull-Arrhenius model was applied to the nonisothermal validation data sets, the root mean squared error of prediction was 2.5 log CFU/g, with fail-dangerous residuals as large as 4.7 log CFU/g when applied to the complete nonisothermal data set. However, by using a modified path-dependent model for inactivation, the prediction errors for independent data were reduced by 56%. Under actual thermal processing conditions, use of the path-dependant model would reduce error in thermal lethality predictions for slowly cooked products.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1323, USA 2: Department of Food Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA 3: Department of Food Science and Technology, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA

Publication date: February 1, 2008

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