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Food Microbiol. 2008 Sep;25(6):735-44. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2008 May 4.

A review of microbial injury and recovery methods in food.

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Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, 5735 Hitchner Hall, The University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469, USA.

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  • Food Microbiol. 2008 Dec;25(8):1001.


The existence of injured microorganisms in food and their recovery during culturing procedures is critical. Microbial injury is characterized by the capability of a microorganism to return to normalcy during a resuscitation process in which the damaged essential components are repaired. Injury of microorganisms can be induced by sublethal heat, freezing, freeze-drying, drying, irradiation, high hydrostatic pressure, aerosolization, dyes, sodium azide, salts, heavy metals, antibiotics, essential oils, sanitizing compounds, and other chemicals or natural antimicrobial compounds. Injured microorganisms present a potential threat in food safety since they may repair themselves under suitable conditions. Detection of injured microorganisms can be important to practical interpretations of data in food microbiology. This review provides an overview of microbial injury in food and discusses the development of recovery methods for detecting injured foodborne microorganisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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