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J Food Prot. 2006 Jul;69(7):1546-51.

Control of Clostridium perfringens in cooked ground beef by carvacrol, cinnamaldehyde, thymol, or oregano oil during chilling.

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Microbial Food Safety Research Unit, Eastern Regional Research Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, 600 East Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania 19038, USA.


Inhibition of Clostridium perfringens spore germination and outgrowth by carvacrol, cinnamaldehyde, thymol, and oregano oil was evaluated during abusive chilling of cooked ground beef (75% lean) obtained from a local grocery store. Test substances were mixed into thawed ground beef at concentrations of 0.1, 0.5, 1.0, or 2.0% (wt/wt) along with a heat-activated three-strain C. perfringens spore cocktail to obtain final spore concentrations of ca. 2.8 log spores per g. Aliquots (5 g) of the ground beef mixtures were vacuum-packaged and then cooked in a water bath, the temperature of which was raised to 60 degrees C in 1 h. The products were cooled from 54.4 to 7.2 degrees C in 12, 15, 18, or 21 h, resulting in 3.18, 4.64, 4.76, and 5.04 log CFU/ g increases, respectively, in C. perfringens populations. Incorporation of test compounds (> or = 0.1%) into the beef completely inhibited C. perfringens spore germination and outgrowth (P < or = 0.05) during exponential cooling of the cooked beef in 12 h. Longer chilling times (15, 18, and 21 h) required greater concentrations to inhibit spore germination and outgrowth. Cinnamaldehyde was significantly (P < 0.05) more effective (< 1.0 log CFU/g growth) at a lower concentration (0.5%) at the most abusive chilling rate evaluated (21 h) than the other compounds. Incorporation of lower levels of these test compounds with other antimicrobials used in meat product formulations may reduce the potential risk of C. perfringens germination and outgrowth during abusive cooling regimes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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