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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Quality & Safety Assessment Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #340341

Research Project: Assessment and Improvement of Poultry Meat, Egg, and Feed Quality

Location: Quality & Safety Assessment Research

Title: In-package cold plasma treatment of raw meat

item Zhuang, Hong
item ROTHROCK, MICHAEL - US Department Of Agriculture (USDA)
item HIETT, KELLI - US Department Of Agriculture (USDA)
item Gamble, Gary
item Lawrence, Kurt
item Bowker, Brian

Submitted to: International Congress of Meat Science and Technology Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/10/2017
Publication Date: 8/13/2017
Citation: Zhuang, H., Rothrock, M.J., Hiett, K.L., Gamble, G.R., Lawrence, K.C., Bowker, B.C. 2017. In-package cold plasma treatment of raw meat. International Congress of Meat Science and Technology Proceedings.

Interpretive Summary: Microbiological quality and safety of raw meat have been a challenge for industry. Each year, millions of pounds of fresh meat products are lost as a result of microbiological spoilage and safety. In-package cold plasma (IP-CP) treatment is a novel and effective non-thermal antimicrobial technique for inactivating foodborne pathogens and extending shelf life in fresh foods. The goal of this study was to evaluate the effects of IP-CP treatments on foodborne pathogens, natural spoilage bacteria, and appearance of packaged fresh meat using raw chicken breast meat (pectoralis major) as an example. Our data showed that IP-CP could significantly inhibit microbial growth and reduce foodborne pathogen populations on the raw meat surface. For foodborne pathogens, increasing treatment time beyond 60 sec did not further enhance IP-CP antimicrobial inactivation efficacy at 70 kV. However, increasing treatment time of IP-CP from 60 sec to 180 sec could further inhibit psychrophilic growth. The IP-CP at 70 kV did not significantly affect the color of the meat surface regardless of treatment time. These results suggest that IP-CP can be used to reduce raw meat spoilage and foodborne pathogens in sealed packages without negatively impacting meat appearance.

Technical Abstract: The effects of in-package cold plasmas (IP-CP) treatments on the safety and quality of fresh meat were evaluated using chicken breast meat (pectoralis major) as a model. Raw breast meat was packed in trays, treated at 70 kV for different times (0, 60, 180, or 300 sec), and stored at 4oC for 5 days. Campylobacter, Salmonella, psychrophiles, and CIE L*a*b* were measured before and after the IP-CP treatments. Populations of foodborne pathogens Campylobacter and Salmonella were significantly lower and psychrophile growth was inhibited after IP-CP treatments. There were no pre- and post-treatment differences in L*a*b* values on the meat surface. Results indicate that IP-CP can reduce meat spoilage and foodborne pathogen risks without negatively impacting meat appearance.