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Int J Food Microbiol. 1996 Feb;29(1):59-73.

Thermotolerance of meat spoilage lactic acid bacteria and their inactivation in vacuum-packaged vienna sausages.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.


Heat resistance of three meat spoilage lactic acid bacteria was determined in vitro. D-values at 57, 60 and 63 degrees C were 52.9, 39.3 and 32.5 s for Lactobacillus sake, 34.9, 31.3 and 20.2 s for Leuconostoc mesenteroides and 22.5, 15.6 and 14.4 s for Lactobacillus curvatus, respectively. The three lactic acid bacteria were heat sensitive, as one log reductions in numbers were achieved at 57 degrees C in less than 60 s. Z-values could not be accurately determined as D-values did not change by a factor of 10 over the temperature range studied. In-package pasteurization processes were calculated using the highest in vitro D-value and applied to vacuum-packaged vienna sausages. Microbiological shelf life (time for lactic acid bacteria count to reach 5 x 10(6) CFU/g) increased from 7 days for non-pasteurized samples to 67, 99 and 119 days for samples of the three pasteurization treatments at 8 degrees C storage. Enterobacteriaceae were detected at levels of log 4.0 CFU/g in non-pasteurized samples, but were reduced to < log 1.0 CFU/g in pasteurized samples. The incidence of listeriae in non-pasteurized samples was low as only one Listeria innocua strain was isolated. No Listeria spp. were isolated from pasteurized samples. Numbers of Clostridium isolates increased from one in non-pasteurized samples to 25 in pasteurized samples. Increasing incidences of clostridia, and the presence of C. perfringens in pasteurized samples indicated that in-package pasteurization could compromise product safety.

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