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Implications of decreased nitrite concentrations on Clostridium perfringens outgrowth during cooling of ready-to-eat meats
Journal of Food Protection (2016)
  • Megan I. Myers, Iowa State University
  • Joseph G. Sebranek, Ph.D., Iowa State University
  • James S. Dickson, Ph.D., Iowa State University
  • Angela M. Shaw, Ph.D., Iowa State University
  • Rodrigo Tarté, Ph.D., Iowa State University
  • Kristin R. Adams, Iowa State University
  • Steve Neibuhr, Iowa State University
Increased popularity of natural and organic processed meats can be attributed to the growing consumer demand for preservative-free foods, including processed meats. To meet this consumer demand, meat processors have begun using celery juice concentrate in place of sodium nitrite to create products labeled as no-nitrate or no-nitrite-added meat products while maintaining the characteristics unique to conventionally cured processed meats. Because of flavor limitations, natural cures with celery concentrate typically provide lower ingoing nitrite concentrations for ready-to-eat processed meats than do conventional cures, which could allow for increased growth of pathogens, such as Clostridium perfringens, during cooked product cooling such as that required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The objective of this study was to investigate the implications associated with reduced nitrite concentrations for preventing C. perfringens outgrowth during a typical cooling cycle used for
cooked products. Nitrite treatments of 0, 50, and 100 ppm were tested in a broth system inoculated with a three-strain C. perfringens cocktail and heated with a simulated product thermal process followed by a typical cooling-stabilization process. The nitrite concentration of 50 ppm was more effective for preventing C. perfringens outgrowth than was 0 ppm but was not as effective as 100 ppm. The interaction between nitrite and temperature significantly affected (P<0.05) C. perfringens outgrowth in both total population and number of vegetative cells. Both temperature and nitrite concentration significantly affected (P<0.05) C. perfringens spore survival, but the interaction between nitrite and temperature did not have a significant effect (P>0.05) on spore outgrowth. Results indicate that decreased nitrite concentrations (50 ppm) have increased potential for total C. perfringens population outgrowth during cooling and may require additional protective measures, such as faster chilling rates.
Publication Date
January, 2016
Citation Information
Megan I. Myers, Joseph G. Sebranek, James S. Dickson, Angela M. Shaw, et al.. "Implications of decreased nitrite concentrations on Clostridium perfringens outgrowth during cooling of ready-to-eat meats" Journal of Food Protection Vol. 79 Iss. 1 (2016) p. 153 - 156 ISSN: 0362-028X
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