Submitted to: Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/20/2004
Publication Date: 5/1/2004
Citation: Huang, L. 2004. Infrared surface pasteurization of turkey frankfurters. Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies. 5:345-351. Interpretive Summary: Listeria monocytogenes is a common potentially life-threatening microorganism that frequently compromises many ready-to-eat meat products regulated by USDA. A new technology was developed to destroy this organism inoculated onto the surface of turkey frankfurters. The technology utilized infrared, a form of energy emitted from a high temperature source, to treat the surface of turkey frankfurters. A 3.47, 4.25, and 4.52-log reduction in the population of Listeria monocytogenes on turkey frankfurters was achieved after the surface temperature was raised to 70, 75, and 80C, respectively. The color of the infrared hot dogs was not affected by the treatment. A computer program was used to simulate the process of the surface heat treatment, and the results of computer simulation agreed closely with the experimental observations. If optimized, the infrared surface pasteurization potentially can be adopted by the meat industry to eliminate Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat meat products.
Technical Abstract: A novel technology has been developed using infrared as an intervention strategy to pasteurize the surface of cooked meat products such as hot dogs contaminated with potentially fatal Listeria monocytogenes prior to final packaging. A laboratory infrared surface heating device was constructed to treat hot dogs (turkey frankfurters) coated with approximately 106-7 cells/cm2 of a mixture of four strains of freshly prepared Listeria monocytogenes. The temperature of the hot dog surface was raised from refrigerated conditions to 70, 75, and 80 EC, achieving 3.47, 4.25, and 4.52 log kills, respectively, in the bacterial population. The average heating time for raising the surface temperature to 70, 75, and 80 EC was 82.1, 92.1, and 103.2 s, respectively. The color of all the hot dog samples treated in the infrared heaters, as represented by L*, a*, and b* values, was not significantly different from the control. The process of surface treatment was also simulated using finite element analysis. The results of computer simulation agreed closely with the experimental observations, indicating that this numerical method could be used in the design and analysis of infrared surface pasteurization. Experimental results of this study suggested that infrared surface pasteurization was an effective technology that could be used to decontaminate the surface of cooked meat products prior to final packaging.