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J Food Prot. 2013 Nov;76(11):1972-6. doi: 10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-13-106.

Inhibition of Clostridium perfringens growth by potassium lactate during an extended cooling of cooked uncured ground turkey breasts.

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Food Research Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1550 Linden Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA; Department of Animal Sciences, University of California- Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service compliance guideline known as Appendix B specifies chilling time and temperature limits for cured and uncured meat products to inhibit growth of spore-forming bacteria, particularly Clostridium perfringens. Sodium lactate and potassium lactate inhibit toxigenic growth of Clostridium botulinum, and inhibition of C. perfringens has been reported. In this study, a cocktail of spores of three C. perfringens strains (ATCC 13124, ATCC 12915, and ATCC 12916) were inoculated into 100-g samples of ground skinless, boneless turkey breast formulated to represent deli-style turkey breast. Three treatment groups were supplemented with 0 (control), 1, or 2% potassium lactate (pure basis), cooked to 71 °C, and assayed for C. perfringens growth during 10 or 12 h of linear cooling to 4 °C. In control samples, populations of C. perfringens increased 3.8 to 4.7 log CFU/g during the two chilling protocols. The 1% potassium lactate treatment supported only a 2.5- to 2.7-log increase, and the 2% potassium lactate treatment limited growth to a 0.56- to 0.70-log increase. When compared with the control, 2% potassium lactate retarded growth by 2.65 and 4.21 log CFU/g for the 10- and 12-h cooling protocols, respectively. These results confirm that the addition of 2% potassium lactate inhibits growth of C. perfringens and that potassium lactate can be used as an alternative to sodium nitrite for safe extended cooling of uncured meats.

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