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Studies on the Effects of Phosphine on Salmonella enterica Serotype Enteritidis in Culture Medium and in Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)

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The effect of phosphine on Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis inoculated in culture medium and in black pepper grains (Piper nigrum), as well as on the reduction of the microbial load of the dried and moisturized product, was verified. The postfumigation effect was verified in inoculated samples with 0.92 and 0.97 water activity (aw) exposed to 6 g/m3 phosphine for 72 h, dried to 0.67 aw, and stored for 24, 48, and 72 h. No decreases were observed in Salmonella Enteritidis populations in culture medium when fumigant concentrations up to 6 g/m3 were applied for 48 h at 35°C. However, the colonies showed reductions in size and atypical coloration as the phosphine concentration increased. No reduction in Salmonella counts occurred on the inoculated dried samples after fumigation. On the other hand, when phosphine at concentrations of 6 g/m3 was applied on moisturized black pepper for 72 h, decreases in Salmonella counts of around 80% were observed. The counts of total aerobic mesophilic bacterium populations of the dried and moisturized black pepper were not affected by the fumigant treatment. The results of the postfumigation studies indicated that Salmonella Enteritidis was absent in the fumigated grains after drying and storage for 72 h, indicating a promising application for this technique. It was concluded that for Salmonella Enteritidis control, phosphine fumigation could be applied to black pepper grains before drying and the producers should rigidly follow good agricultural practices, mainly during the drying process, in order to avoid product recontamination. Additional work is needed to confirm the findings with more Salmonella serotypes and strains.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-10-205

Affiliations: 1: Grupo Especial de Engenharia e Pós-Colheita, Avenida Brasil 2880, Jardim Brasil, Campinas, São Paulo, CEP 13070-178, CP 139, Brazil. fernanda@ital.sp.gov.br 2: Grupo Especial de Engenharia e Pós-Colheita, Avenida Brasil 2880, Jardim Brasil, Campinas, São Paulo, CEP 13070-178, CP 139, Brazil 3: Centro de Ciência e Qualidade de Alimentos, Instituto de Tecnologia de Alimentos (ITAL), Avenida Brasil 2880, Jardim Brasil, Campinas, São Paulo, CEP 13070-178, CP 139, Brazil

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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    First published in 1937, the Journal of Food Protection®, 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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