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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fayetteville, Arkansas » Poultry Production and Product Safety Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #337673

Research Project: Antibiotic Alternatives for Controlling Foodborne Pathogens and Disease in Poultry

Location: Poultry Production and Product Safety Research

Title: Use of a chitosan based natural coating materials to reduce spoilage and pathogenic bacteria on poultry products

item KOMALA, ARSI - University Of Arkansas
item UPADHYAY, ABHINAV - University Of Arkansas
item WOO-MING, ANN - University Of Arkansas
item Donoghue, Ann - Annie
item DONOGHUE, DAN - University Of Arkansas

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/15/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Chitosan is a natural compound with proven antimicrobial activity having GRAS status (generally recognized as safe) as determined by the United States Food and Drug Administration (Smith et al., 2014). Efforts are underway to develop and improve the use of chitosan based films as packaging materials to improve the safety and shelf life of food products. However, the efficacy of chitosan as a coating on poultry products to reduce foodborne pathogens such as Campylobacter has not been studied. Campylobacter is the leading cause of bacterial foodborne illness worldwide and is primarily caused by consumption and/or mishandling of contaminated poultry products (Wagenaar et al., 2015). Currently there are few intervention strategies that can consistently reduce Campylobacter from poultry during rearing, processing or at the retail level (Sahin et al., 2015). In this study we investigated the efficacy of chitosan, the medium chain fatty acid, caprylic acid (CA) or their combination for reducing Campylobacter jejuni on chicken skin and wings. Additionally, we also evaluated the efficacy of chitosan coating to reduce total aerobic bacteria, which may contribute to the spoilage of poultry products. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In a preliminary study, three molecular weight chitosans (15-50, 190-310, 400-600 kDa) and/or CA at 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0% were screened for their ability to reduce Campylobacter counts on chicken skin as previously described (Wagle et al., 2016). The most effective concentrations of chitosan, CA or their combination treatments were then tested on chicken wings. The wings were inoculated with Campylobacter (~6 log CFU/mL) and randomly assigned to controls, 1 or 2% CA, 2% chitosan (190-310 kDa) or their combinations in 2 separate trials. Following 1 min of coating with each treatment, wings were air-dried for 30 min and plate counts were determined at 0, 1, 3, 5, and 7 d (n = 5 wings/treatment per day) for Campylobacter and aerobic counts (Wagle et al., 2016). Additionally, the effect of chitosan, caprylic acid or combination on transcription of C. jejuni meat attachment genes was performed using Real-time PCR. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: In replicate trials, both the 2% chitosan (190-310 kDa) or the 1% or 2% CA treatments reduced Campylobacter counts by approximately 2 logs by the third day of storage. However, when chitosan was used in combination with either 1 or 2% Ca, Campylobacter counts were reduced by approximately 3 logs within minutes of application of these treatments (day 0) and for the entire 7 day storage period. Chitosan coating also reduced (1 log reduction) the number of spoilage bacteria for the entire 7 day storage period. RT qPCR analyses suggest chitosan either alone or in combination with CA modulated the expression of genes that are critical for survival of C. jejuni in the environment and expression of important virulence traits. Results suggest that the coating of raw poultry products with chitosan, CA or its combination may be an effective treatment for reducing both spoilage bacteria and Campylobacter contamination and thereby improve both food safety and shelf life of poultry products.