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Reduction of Listeria on Ready-to-Eat Sausages after Exposure to a Combination of Pulsed Light and Nisin

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The risk of listeriosis associated with ready-to-eat foods is a major concern in the United States. Pulsed light (PL) treatment has been effective for killing Listeria. The possibility of enhancing the antilisterial capability of PL treatment by combining PL with an additional hurdle, the natural antimicrobial nisin, was explored in this study. First, the ability of Listeria innocua to mimic the response of Listeria monocytogenes to PL treatment was demonstrated. Subsequently, a series of inoculation studies was performed in which canned sausages were surface inoculated with L. innocua as a surrogate for L. monocytogenes and then treated with a commercial preparation of nisin (Nisaplin), PL, or a combination of the two treatments. The application of a Nisaplin dip alone resulted in an immediate reduction of L. innocua by 2.35 ± 0.09 log CFU. PL reduced L. innocua by 1.37 ± 0.30 log CFU after exposure to 9.4 J/cm2. A total reduction of 4.03 ± 0.15 log CFU was recorded after the combined treatment of Nisaplin and PL for 48 h at 4°C. The long-term survival of L. innocua was evaluated on sausages stored at 4°C. Treatment with Nisaplin and PL resulted in a 4- to 5-log reduction for two replicate studies. The combination treatment resulted in no significant microbial growth during 28 and 48 days of refrigerated storage in the first and second replicates, respectively. These results suggest that this combination treatment can be used as an effective antilisterial step in the production of ready-to-eat foods.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Food Science, Cornell University, Stocking Hall, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA

Publication date: February 1, 2009

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    The Journal of Food Protection (JFP) is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

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