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Thermal Inactivation Kinetics for Salmonella Enteritidis PT30 on Almonds Subjected to Moist-Air Convection Heating

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A traditional thermal inactivation kinetic model (D- and z-value) was modified to account for the effect of process humidity on thermal inactivation of Salmonella Enteritidis PT30 on the surface of almonds subjected to moist-air heating. Raw almonds were surface inoculated to ∼108 CFU/g and subjected to moist-air heating in a computer-controlled laboratory-scale convection oven. Time-temperature data were collected for 125 conditions (five dry bulb temperatures, 121 to 232°C; five process humidity levels, 5 to 90% moisture by volume; and five process durations). Moisture status at the surface of the almond, rather than the humidity of the bulk air, was a primary factor controlling the rate of inactivation; therefore, the D-value could not be a simple function of process temperature. Instead, the traditional D- and z-value model was modified to account for the dynamic water status at the surface of the product under humid heating conditions. The modified model needs only the dew point temperature of the processing air and dynamic surface temperature history of the almonds during moist-air heating. The modified model was more robust and accurate than the traditional model. The accuracy of the modified model was improved by 32 to 44% (in terms of the root mean squared error [RMSE] for the model fit) when compared with the traditional model in all moist-air heating conditions. Also, the prediction error of the modified model (RMSE = 1.33 log reductions) against an independent validation data set was approximately one-half that of the traditional model (RMSE = 2.56 log reduction) in the humidity range of 5 to 90% moisture by volume.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA 2: Food Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2009

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