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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Food Safety and Intervention Technologies Research

Title: Inactivation of Listeria innocua on frankfurters using flash pasteurization and lauric arginate ester

item Sommers, Christopher
item Mackay, William
item Geveke, David
item Lemmenes, Bryan
item Pulsfus, Seth

Submitted to: Journal of Food Processing and Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/21/2012
Publication Date: 2/24/2012
Citation: Sommers, C.H., Mackay, W., Geveke, D.J., Lemmenes, B., Pulsfus, S. 2012. Inactivation of Listeria innocua on frankfurters using flash pasteurization and lauric arginate ester. Journal of Food Processing and Technology. 3(3):1000147.

Interpretive Summary: Listeria monocytogenes can cause foodborne illness and is an occasional contaminant of ready-to-eat meats such as frankfurters. Flash pasteurization (FP) uses short bursts of steam to decontaminate frankfurter surfaces and lauric arginate ester (LAE) is a Food and Drug Administration approved antimicrobial that can decontaminate frankfurter surfaces. In this study the use of FP and LAE were combined to inactivate 3.3 log (>99.9%) of Listeria on frankfurter surfaces for 12 weeks refrigerated storage at 10 deg C. This research can be used by the meat processing industry to provide safer pre-cooked sausage products to consumers.

Technical Abstract: Listeria monocytogenes, a psychrotrophic food-borne pathogen, is a recurring post-process contaminant on ready-to-eat meat (RTE) products including frankfurters. Flash Pasteurization (FP) uses short pulses of steam to decontaminate the surface of precooked sausages such as frankfurters. The antimicrobial lauric-arginate-ester (LAE) has been shown to reduce levels of L. monocytogenes and its nonpathogenic surrogate L. innocua on frankfurters. In this study the use of FP to inactivate L. innocua on frankfurters followed by application of LAE immediately prior to vacuum-packaging in a pilot plant setting was investigated. Use of FP (1.5 s, 120 deg C steam), LAE (3.33 ml of a 5% volume/volume solution per pack of four frankfurters), or FP followed by application of LAE, resulted in a 2.5, 1.6, and 3.3 of log reductions of L. innocua that was surface-inoculated onto frankfurters, respectively. Although FP alone reduced L. innocua levels by 2.5 log, the bacterium recovered and grew to a density of >10-6 CFU/g within 2 weeks during refrigerated storage (10 deg C). LAE inhibited L. innocua growth for 8 weeks, but the bacterium was able to recover and grow to a density of >10-6 CFU/g by week 12. The use of FP in combination with LAE effectively inhibited the growth of L. innocua for 12 weeks. The use of FP in combination with LAE had little effect on frankfurter color and texture, and was found to be an effective hurdle process for decontamination of frankfurter surfaces.

Last Modified: 06/25/2017
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