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Effect of Growth on the Thermal Resistance and Survival of Salmonella Tennessee and Oranienburg in Peanut Butter, Measured by a New Thin-Layer Thermal Death Time Device

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Abstract:

In published data the thermal destruction of Salmonella species in peanut butter deviates from pseudo–first-order kinetics. The reasons for such deviation are unknown. This study examined both the method used to measure the thermal destruction rate and the method of growth of the microorganisms to explain variations in destruction kinetics. Growth on a solid matrix results in a different physiological state that may provide greater resistance to adverse environments. In this study, Salmonella Tennessee and Oranienburg were grown for 24 h at 37°C under aerobic conditions in broth and agar media to represent planktonic and sessile cell growth, respectively. Peanut butter was held at 25°C and tested for Salmonella levels immediately after inoculation and at various time intervals up to 2 weeks. Thermal resistance was measured at 85°C by use of a newly developed thin-layer metal sample holder. Although thermal heat transfer through the metal device resulted in longer tau values than those obtained with plastic bags (32.5 ± 0.9 versus 12.4 ± 1.9 s), the bags have a relative variability of about 15 % compared with about 3 % in the plates, allowing improved uniformity of sample treatment. The two serovars tested in the thin-layer device showed similar overall thermal resistance levels in peanut butter regardless of growth in sessile or planktonic states. However, thermal destruction curves from sessile cultures exhibited greater linearity than those obtained from planktonic cells (P = 0.0198 and 0.0047 for Salmonella Oranienburg and Salmonella Tennessee, respectively). In addition, both Salmonella serovars showed significantly higher survival in peanut butter at 25°C when originally grown on solid media (P = 0.001) with a <1-log loss over 2 weeks as opposed to a 1- to 2-log loss when grown in liquid culture. Consequently, the use of cells grown on solid media may more accurately assess the survival of Salmonella at different temperatures in a low-water-activity environment such as peanut butter.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-11-477

Affiliations: 1: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 6502 South Archer Road, Bedford Park, Illinois 60501, USA. susanne.keller@fda.hhs.gov 2: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 6502 South Archer Road, Bedford Park, Illinois 60501, USA 3: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 5100 Paint Branch Parkway, College Park, Maryland 20740, USA 4: Institute for Food Safety and Health, 6502 South Archer Road, Bedford Park, Illinois 60501, USA

Publication date: June 1, 2012

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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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