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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Microbial and Chemical Food Safety » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #293343

Title: Antimicrobial films and coatings for inactivation of Listeria innocua on ready-to-eat deli turkey meat

item GUO, MINGMING - Jiangnan University
item Jin, Zhonglin
item WANG, LUXIN - Auburn University
item Scullen, Butch
item Sommers, Christopher

Submitted to: Food Control
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/9/2013
Publication Date: 11/9/2013
Publication URL:
Citation: Guo, M., Jin, Z.T., Wang, L., Scullen, B.J., Sommers, C.H. 2013. Antimicrobial films and coatings for inactivation of Listeria innocua on ready-to-eat deli turkey meat. Food Control. 40:64-70.

Interpretive Summary: Read-to-eat (RTE) meat products are susceptible to contamination with microorganisms as they are packaged after cooking. Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella Typhimurium have been linked to illness outbreaks or product recalls of RTE foods. In this study, antimicrobial films and coatings that incorporate the antimicrobial compounds were developed. These films and coatings inactivated L. innocua, a nonpathogenic surrogate of L. monocytogenes, and Salmonella on RTE deli meat products. Combining antimicrobial coatings or films with steam flash pasteurization, a process which uses short bursts of steam under pressure to decontaminate RTE meat surfaces, further reduced L. innocua, resulting in 99.999% reduction of L. innocua. This study provides RTE meat processors a new way to produce safer products to consumers.

Technical Abstract: Edible antimicrobial coating solutions incorporating chitosan, lauric arginate (LAE) and nisin were developed to reduce foodborne pathogen contamination on ready-to-eat (RTE) meats. RTE deli meat samples were directly coated with the solutions, or treated with solution-coated polylactic acid (PLA) films. The antimicrobial efficacy of the coatings and films against Listeria innocua and Salmonella Typhimurium inoculated onto the surface of RTE meat samples was investigated. Antimicrobial coatings with 1.94 micro gram per sq. cm of chitosan and 1.94 micro liter per sq. cm of LAE reduced L. innocua and S. Typhimurium by ca. 4.5 and 3.3 log CFU per sq. cm, respectively. Nisin (486 IU per sq. cm) showed less effectiveness than LAE (1.94 micro liter per sq. cm) and addition of nisin to the antimicrobial coatings or films containing LAE (1.94 micro liter per sq. cm) did not enhance the total antimicrobial effectiveness. Combining antimicrobial coatings or films with flash pasteurization (FP), which uses short burst of steam under pressure, further reduced L. innocua, achieving over a 5 log reduction. There was no significant difference in the effectiveness of antimicrobial films versus the coatings (p greater than 0.05). These data show the potential use of antimicrobial packaging alone, or in combination with FP, in preventing foodborne illness due to post-processing contamination of RTE meat products.