Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 2006
Publication Date: June 24, 2006
Citation: Huang, L. 2006. Ensuring the safety of frankfurters by thermal processing . 2006 IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo. Orlando, FL. 6/28/06. p. 1. Technical Abstract: Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen that has occasionally compromised the safety of ready-to-eat (RTE) foods such as frankfurters. The occurrence of this organism in fully-cooked products is not caused by the bacterial cells surviving the cooking process, but by contamination after cooking. A post-lethality intervention is an important step in controlling foodborne listeriosis. Thermal processing is a proactive approach that can inactivate L. monocytogenes in RTE meats. Technically, both pre-packaging and post-packaging processes can be used as post-process lethality interventions. A pre-packaging intervention is one that involves the application of heat generated by steam or an infrared source to treat the surfaces of the RTE meats immediately before they are packaged. These technologies are relatively fast, ranging from a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on the temperature of the heating medium. Pre-packaging interventions can produce up to 3~4 logs reductions of L. monocytogenes in RTE meats. A post-packaging intervention involves the application of steam or hot water to treat finished products after they are packaged. Post-packaging thermal processes can be longer than the pre-packaging counterparts, but can achieve a complete inactivation (> 5 logs) of L. monocytogenes. This talk will also introduce a new mathematical method, based on heat transfer and thermal inactivation kinetics, to estimate the inactivation of L. monocytogenes in frankfurters during an in-package thermal pasteurization process. Experimental data showed that this numerical method can estimate the process of thermal inactivation of L. monocytogenes within 1 log accuracy. This method can be used to design new post-process lethality treatments with reduced heat requirements.