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Meat Sci. 2009 Jan;81(1):65-70. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2008.06.019. Epub 2008 Jul 2.

Comparison of acids on the induction of an Acid Tolerance Response in Salmonellatyphimurium, consequences for food safety.

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Departamento de Higiene y Tecnología de los Alimentos, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de León, 24071 León, Spain.


Salmonellatyphimurium inactivation at pH 3.0 in Brain Heart Infusion (BHI) and Meat Extract (ME) was studied using stationary-phase cells grown in non-acidified BHI (pH 7.4) and ME (pH 6.6) and acidified BHI and ME at pH values of 6.4, 5.4 and 4.5 with acetic, ascorbic, citric, lactic, malic and hydrochloric acids. Cells grown in buffered BHI (pH 7.0) were used as non-acid adapted control cells. Acid adapted S. typhimurium cells obtained in both media (BHI and ME) were more resistant to extremely acidic conditions when ME was used as challenge medium, although the ability of S. typhimurium to survive extreme pH conditions also depended on growth medium and type of acidulant used. Acid adapted cells grown in BHI developed a higher Acid Tolerance Response (ATR) than those grown in ME. When cells were grown in acidified BHI, no bacterial inactivation was observed after three hours of acid challenge in ME. Furthermore, when cells were grown in acidified ME at pH values of 6.4 and 5.4, D-values obtained using ME as challenge medium were, respectively, 6-9 and 10-15 fold higher than those found when BHI was used as challenge medium. In all cases, the order of acids in inducing the ATR was citric>acetic>lactic>malic⩾hydrochloric>ascorbic. These findings represent a concern for food safety as the increase in the acid resistance of acid adapted cells could allow for S. typhimurium survival in the strong acidic environment of the gastrointestinal tract.

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