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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Quality and Safety Assessment Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #357965

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

Location: Quality and Safety Assessment Research Unit

Title: In-package antimicrobial treatment of chicken breast meat with high voltage dielectric barrier discharge – Electric voltage effect

item Zhuang, Hong
item Rothrock, Michael
item Hiett, Kelli
item Lawrence, Kurt
item Gamble, Gary
item Bowker, Brian
item KEENER, KEVIN - Iowa State University

Submitted to: Journal of Applied Poultry Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/14/2019
Publication Date: 12/11/2019
Citation: Zhuang, H., Rothrock Jr, M.J., Hiett, K.L., Lawrence, K.C., Gamble, G.R., Bowker, B.C., Keener, K.M. 2019. In-package antimicrobial treatment of chicken breast meat with high voltage dielectric barrier discharge – Electric voltage effect. Journal of Applied Poultry Research. 28(4):801-807.

Interpretive Summary: Microbiological quality and safety of raw poultry meat has been a challenge for the poultry industry. Each year, millions of pounds of fresh poultry meat products are lost as a result of microbiological spoilage. In 2011, a potential Salmonella contamination resulted in a recall of 36 million pounds of ground raw turkey. In-package high voltage dielectric barrier discharge (HVDBD) is a new non-thermal antimicrobial technique for inactivating foodborne pathogens and extending shelf life of fresh food products A number of studies have documented the efficacy of the HVDBD inactivation of microbes in food products. In this study, we investigated the effects of HVDBD treatments at different voltage for 180 sec on foodborne pathogenic and psychrophilic bacteria of packaged raw chicken breast meat. Our data demonstrate that HVDBD treatment for 180 sec reduces both microbial spoilage (psychrophiles) growth and foodborne pathogen (Campylobacter and Salmonella) populations on the surface of raw chicken breast meat. In package HVDBD treatment voltages 55-85 kV are equally effective for psychrophiles and Salmonella. However, greater voltages may result in further reduction in Campylobacter populations. The HVDBD treatment may cause significant changes in raw meat appearances.

Technical Abstract: Microbiological safety and quality of fresh chicken meat are important concerns to industry. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of in-package, non-thermal high voltage dielectric barrier discharge (HVDBD) treatment on microbial quality, safety, and color of fresh chicken breast meat (pectoralis major). Boneless skinless chicken breast meat was collected from a local commercial plant. Non-inoculated meat samples and meat samples inoculated with Campylobacter and Salmonella were packed in polymeric trays under ambient air conditions. The packaged samples were HVDBD-treated at different voltages (0, 55, 70, or 85 kV) for 180 sec, and stored at 4C for 5 days. Microbial counts (psychrophiles, Campylobacter, Salmonella) and meat color (L*a*b*) were measured before HVDBD treatment and after 5 days of post-treatment storage. Psychrophile growth was inhibited (P < 0.05) and both foodborne pathogens were reduced (P < 0.05) by HVDBD treatments regardless of treatment voltage. No differences in psychrophilic and Salmonella counts were observed between the three treatment voltages; however, increasing treatment voltage beyond 55 kV resulted in additional inactivation of Campylobacter. In terms of meat color, there were no differences (P > 0.05) in a* and b* values between pre-treatment and post-treatment measurements; however, all HVDBD treatments resulted in increased L* value (P < 0.05). Results indicate that in-package HVDBD treatment can be used to reduce both microbial spoilage and foodborne pathogen risks; however, in-package HVDBD treatment may increase pale color in raw chicken breast meat.