|WANG, JIAMEI - Hainan University
|HINTON, ARTHUR - US Department Of Agriculture (USDA)
|ZHANG, JIANHAO - Nanjing Agricultural University
Submitted to: Food Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/15/2016
Publication Date: 12/1/2016
Citation: Wang, J., Zhuang, H., Hinton, A., Zhang, J. 2016. Influence of in-package cold plasma treatment on microbiological shelf life and appearance of fresh chicken breast fillets. Food Microbiology. 60:142-146.
Interpretive Summary: It is estimated that more than 144 million pounds of fresh poultry meat products are lost as a result of microbiological spoilage each year. In-package atmospheric cold plasma (ACP) is a novel non-thermal antimicrobial method that provides an alternative to the traditional antimicrobial technologies for food. The objective of our study was to investigate effects of in-package ACP treatment on microbiological shelf life and surface color lightness (L* value) of fresh chicken breast meat that was either packed in air or in modified atmosphere (65% O2 + 30% CO2 + 5% N2). Our results show that when raw chicken breast meat was packed in air, the in-package ACP treatment did not significantly affect bacterial populations regardless of microbial type. However, the ACP treatment significantly reduced microbial populations on raw chicken breast meat when the products were packed in modified atmosphere. There were no differences in color lightness (L* value) between ACP-treated and pre-treated meat regardless of packaging atmosphere composition. Compared with the air package, ACP treatment with modified atmosphere doubled the microbiological shelf life of treated products. These data demonstrate that effects of in-package CP treatments on microbiological shelf life of fresh chicken fillets depend upon gas composition in packages. When fresh chicken fillets are packed in air, ACP treatment does not extend the microbiological shelf life. However, ACP treatments with MA can significantly extend the shelf life (more than 14 days). Regardless of headspace composition, in-package ACP does not have negative effects on chicken meat appearance.
Technical Abstract: The effect of in-package cold plasmas (CP) was studied on microbiological shelf life and surface lightness of fresh chicken fillets (pectoralis major) . chicken fillets were packaged in food trays in air or modified atmosphere (MA) gas (O2:CO2:N2 = 65:30:5) and stored at 4' after exposed to an in-package cold plasma (80 kV for 180 sec) treatment. Populations of mesophiles, psychrophiles, and pseudomonas spp. were measured as indicators for microbiological shelf life and CIELAB L* values as an indicator for raw meat appearance. Results show that regardless of microbial type, there were no significant differences in microbial counts between the control and CP treated chicken fillets packed in air. However, in the MA packages, microbial counts were consistently lower than the non-treated control during refrigerated storage. Regardless of CP treatment, the microbial counts on the samples packed in air were much higher than in MA. They were more than 6 logs cfu/g in air compared to fewer than 4 logs cfu/g in MA after 7dstorage and fewer than 6 logs cfu/g after 14dstorage. Regardless of CP treatment and gas composition in package, there were no significant differences in the surface L* value between the fillets pre-treatment and those after storage at 4oC. These results demonstrate that the effects of in-package CP treatments on microbiological shelf life of fresh chicken fillets depend upon headspace composition in packages. When fresh chicken fillets are packed in air, CP treatment has no effect on microbiological shelf life. MA packages with high O2 and CO2 significantly extend shelf life and CP treatment with MA can at least double shelf life of fresh chicken meat (more than 14 days). Regardless of headspace composition, in-package CP does not have negative effects on chicken meat appearance.