Decisive Role of Structure in Food Microbial Colonization and Implications for Predictive Microbiology

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Predictive models must consider the significant effect of the physical structure of the food on the magnitude and type of microbial growth. Before such models are developed, a thorough characterization of the food structure is mandatory because this information will determine the modeling approach. In this work, several physical structures common in poultry products were classified and described. Chicken breast skin and flesh and minced breasts were examined by scanning electron microscopy and compared with a meat-based model food. Such systems were surface or internally inoculated with Listeria innocua and incubated at 25°C for 24 h. Different structures, including several substructures, found in the studied systems affected microbial distribution and growth. Based on these experimental findings, the most suitable type of model for each physical structure was determined. This information provides further clarification for predictive microbiology models.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Chemical Engineering and Environmental Technology, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Oviedo, C. Julián Clavería, s/n, 33006 Oviedo, Spain 2: Department of Chemical Engineering and Environmental Technology, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Oviedo, C. Julián Clavería, s/n, 33006 Oviedo, Spain.

Publication date: May 1, 2010

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