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:
The goal of this project is to develop effective intervention methods using microwave heating to inactivate viral and bacterial foodborne pathogens. This specific goal of ARS research is to develop mathematical models and methods for microbial risk assessments of microwave-processed foods. Studies were conducted to develop predictive models on thermal resistance of Salmonella spp. in peanut butter and E. coli O157:H7 in strawberry puree. A new data analysis and model development tool – the Integrated Pathogen Modeling Program (IPMP 2013) was developed to support this research. The software tool was shared with the research team for microbial inactivation and growth data analysis and model development.