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J Food Prot. 2017 Sep;80(9):1408-1414. doi: 10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-16-537.

Retention of Viability of Salmonella in Sucrose as Affected by Type of Inoculum, Water Activity, and Storage Temperature.

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Center for Food Safety and Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Georgia, 1109 Experiment Street, Griffin, Georgia 30223-1797, USA.


Outbreaks of salmonellosis have been associated with consumption of high-sugar, low-water activity (aw) foods. The study reported here was focused on determining the effect of storage temperature (5 and 25°C) on survival of initially high and low levels of Salmonella in dry-inoculated sucrose (aw 0.26 ± 0.01 to 0.54 ± 0.01) and wet-inoculated sucrose (aw 0.24 ± 0.01 to 0.44 ± 0.04) over a 52-week period. With the exception of dry-inoculated sucrose at aw 0.26, Salmonella survived for 52 weeks in dry- and wet-inoculated sucrose stored at 5 and 25°C. Retention of viability was clearly favored in sucrose stored at 5°C compared with 25°C, regardless of level or type of inoculum or aw. Survival at 5°C was not affected by aw. Initial high-inoculum counts of 5.18 and 5.25 log CFU/g of dry-inoculated sucrose (aw 0.26 and 0.54, respectively) stored for 52 weeks at 5°C decreased by 0.56 and 0.53 log CFU/g; counts decreased by >4.18 and >4.25 log CFU/g in samples stored at 25°C. Inactivation rates in wet-inoculated sucrose were similar to those in dry-inoculated sucrose; however, a trend toward higher persistence of Salmonella in dry- versus wet-inoculated sucrose suggests there was a higher proportion of cells in the wet inoculum with low tolerance to osmotic stress. Survival patterns were similar in sucrose initially containing a low level of Salmonella (2.26 to 2.91 log CFU/g). The pathogen was recovered from low-inoculated sucrose stored at 5°C for 52 weeks regardless of type of inoculum or aw and from dry-inoculated sucrose (aw 0.54) and wet-inoculated sucrose (aw 0.24) stored at 25°C for 12 and 26 weeks, respectively. Results emphasize the importance of preventing contamination of sucrose intended for use as an ingredient in foods not subjected to a treatment that would be lethal to Salmonella.


Confectionery; Desiccation; Low moisture; Salmonella; Sucrose; Water activity

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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