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Food Microbiol. 2008 May;25(3):460-70. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2008 Feb 2.

Comparison of primary predictive models to study the growth of Listeria monocytogenes at low temperatures in liquid cultures and selection of fastest growing ribotypes in meat and turkey product slurries.

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Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota, 1334 Eckles Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA.


This study compared the performance of four primary mathematical models to study the growth kinetics of Listeria monocytogenes ribotypes grown at low temperature so as to identify the best predictive model. The parameters of the best-fitting model were used to select the fastest growing strains with the shortest lag time and greatest growth rate. Nineteen food, human and animal L. monocytogenes isolates with distinct ribotype were grown at 4, 8, and 12 degrees C in tryptic soy broth and slurries prepared from cooked uncured sliced turkey breasts (with or without potassium lactate and sodium diacetate, PL/SD) and cooked cured frankfurters (with or without PL/SD). Separate regressions were performed on semi-logarithm growth curves to fit linear (based on Monod) and non-linear (Gompertz, Baranyi-Roberts, and Logistic) equations and performance of each model was evaluated using an F-test. No significant differences were found in the performance of linear and non-linear models, but the Baranyi model had the best fit for most growth curves. The maximum growth rate (MGR) of Listeria strains increased with the temperature. Similarly MGR was found significantly greater when no antimicrobials were present in the formulation of turkey or frankfurter products. The variability in lag times and MGRs in all media as determined by the Baranyi model was not consistent among strains. No single strain consistently had the fastest growth (shortest lag time, fastest MGR, or shortest time to increase 100-fold), but nine strains were identified as fastest growing strains under most growth conditions. The lack of association between serotype and fastest strain was also observed in the slurry media study. The fastest growing strains resulting from this study can be recommended for future use in L. monocytogenes challenge studies in delicatessen meat and poultry food matrices, so as to develop conservative pathogen growth predictions.

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