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J Appl Microbiol. 2006 Jun;100(6):1289-98.

Dynamic modeling of Listeria monocytogenes growth in pasteurized milk.

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Department of Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece.



The development and validation of a dynamic model for predicting Listeria monocytogenes growth in pasteurized milk stored at both static and dynamic temperature conditions.


Growth of inoculated L. monocytogenes in a commercial pasteurized whole milk product was monitored at various isothermal conditions from 1.5 to 16 degrees C. The kinetic parameters of the pathogen were modelled as a function of temperature using a square root type model, which was further validated using data from 92 published growth curves from eight different milk products. Compared to four published models for L. monocytogenes growth, the model developed in this study performed better, with a per cent discrepancy and bias of 49.1 and -1.01%, respectively. The performance of the model in predicting growth at dynamic temperature conditions was evaluated at four different fluctuating temperature scenarios with periodic temperature changes from -2 to 16 degrees C. The prediction of growth at dynamic storage temperature was based on the square root model in conjunction with the differential equations of the Baranyi and Roberts model, which were numerically integrated with respect to time. The per cent relative errors between the observed and the predicted growth of L. monocytogenes were less than 10% for all temperature scenarios tested.


Available models from experiments conducted in laboratory media may result in significant overestimation of L. monocytogenes growth in pasteurized milk because they do not take into account factors such as milk composition (e.g. natural antimicrobial compounds present in milk) and the interactions of the pathogen with the natural microflora. The product-targeted model developed in the present study showed a high performance in predicting growth of L. monocytogenes in pasteurized milk under both static and dynamic temperature conditions.


Temperature fluctuations often occur during the transportation and storage of pasteurized milk. A high performance, dynamic model for the growth of L. monocytogenes can be a useful tool for effective management and optimization of product safety and can lead to more realistic estimations of pasteurized-milk related safety risks.

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