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Int J Food Microbiol. 2014 Feb 3;171:100-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2013.11.019. Epub 2013 Nov 23.

IPMP 2013--a comprehensive data analysis tool for predictive microbiology.

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Residue Chemistry and Predictive Microbiology Research Unit, Eastern Regional Research Center, USDA Agricultural Research Service, 600 E. Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, PA 19038, United States. Electronic address:


Predictive microbiology is an area of applied research in food science that uses mathematical models to predict the changes in the population of pathogenic or spoilage microorganisms in foods exposed to complex environmental changes during processing, transportation, distribution, and storage. It finds applications in shelf-life prediction and risk assessments of foods. The objective of this research was to describe the performance of a new user-friendly comprehensive data analysis tool, the Integrated Pathogen Modeling Model (IPMP 2013), recently developed by the USDA Agricultural Research Service. This tool allows users, without detailed programming knowledge, to analyze experimental kinetic data and fit the data to known mathematical models commonly used in predictive microbiology. Data curves previously published in literature were used to test the models in IPMP 2013. The accuracies of the data analysis and models derived from IPMP 2013 were compared in parallel to commercial or open-source statistical packages, such as SAS® or R. Several models were analyzed and compared, including a three-parameter logistic model for growth curves without lag phases, reduced Huang and Baranyi models for growth curves without stationary phases, growth models for complete growth curves (Huang, Baranyi, and re-parameterized Gompertz models), survival models (linear, re-parameterized Gompertz, and Weibull models), and secondary models (Ratkowsky square-root, Huang square-root, Cardinal, and Arrhenius-type models). The comparative analysis suggests that the results from IPMP 2013 were equivalent to those obtained from SAS® or R. This work suggested that the IPMP 2013 could be used as a free alternative to SAS®, R, or other more sophisticated statistical packages for model development in predictive microbiology.


Model development; Nonlinear regression; Predictive microbiology; Software development

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