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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Nonthermal processing technologies to improve the safety of raw meat and poultry products and ready-to-eat foods

item Sommers, Christopher

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2008
Publication Date: 6/2/2008
Citation: Sommers, C. 2008. Kraft/Oscar Mayer Meat Science Summit, [abstract] Madison, WI.p.1.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Newly emerging nonthermal and advanced thermal processing technologies are now being adopted by the food processing industry for the purpose of providing safe and high quality food products to consumers. Scientists and engineers at USDA’s Eastern Regional Research Center in Wyndmoor, PA are actively researching the use of these new technologies including ultraviolet and pulsed light decontamination, cold atmospheric plasma, ionizing radiation,pulsed and radio-frequency electric fields,bacteriophage, infrared and in-package microwave pasteurization, and flash pasteurization for inactivation of pathogenic bacteria in foods. Ionizing radiation is currently the only technology available for inactivation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in ground beef and leafy greens without affecting product quality. Hot water processing can be used to inactivate Salmonella on the surfaces of melons. Meat processors have a variety of options including the use of flash pasteurization, ultraviolet light,infrared heating, in-package microwave pasteurization for the inactivation of L. monocytogenes in ready-to-eat meats in addition to natural biocontrol technologies such as the use of bacteriophages. Pulsed electric fields can be used to inactivate Escherichia coli in juices while avoiding loss of volatile compounds associated with fresh-like aroma and taste as occurs with thermal processing. Ultraviolet light can be used to improve the safety of juices and inactivate enteric bacteria in liquid egg whites while preserving egg white quality attributes. Consumer demand for safer, more natural, and fresh-like high quality foods is currently driving the development and commercialization of novel non-thermal and advanced thermal intervention technologies.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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