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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Residue Chemistry and Predictive Microbiology Research » Research » Research Project #421314


Location: Residue Chemistry and Predictive Microbiology Research

2012 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
1) Study thermal responses of selected food pathogens, including human norovirus, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), and their validated surrogates in selected foods (seafood, deli meats, prepared meals) within short time microwave heating regimes that maintain food quality. 2) Improve system designs, develop and validate process protocols to control targeted pathogens. 3) Develop scale-up strategies and support industrial implementation. 4) Develop statistical tools to assess the safety of MW processes in support of regulatory measures to protect public health. 5) Disseminate knowledge via short-courses, workshops, websites, and demonstration projects in industrial partner facilities; provide on-site training for graduate students and industrial personnel.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
New microwave heating technologies will be developed to kill foodborne pathogens in foods, particularly for post-lethality pasteurization of products.

3. Progress Report:
This research is funded through a sub-award (Sub-Award No.: 115334 G002888) from Washington State University, under a USDA NIFA grant (Prime Award No. 2011-68003-20096), with an objective to develop novel microwave heating technologies and processes to pasteurize packaged foods containing raw ingredients and to inactivate bacterial and viral foodborne pathogens. The research conducted in this year was to evaluate the thermal resistance of common foodborne pathogens, such as E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella spp., and Listeria monocytogenes in meat and poultry products. A global systems approach was used to analyze the thermal resistance of these pathogens as affected by temperature, fat, moisture, and protein. The results of this study can assist food processors to design more effective and more efficient thermal processing conditions and regulatory agencies to evaluate the effectiveness of thermal processes.

4. Accomplishments