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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 #392465

Research Project: Development and Validation of Predictive Models and Pathogen Modeling Programs; and Data Acquisition for International Microbial Databases

Location: Microbial and Chemical Food Safety

Title: Effect of citral on the thermal inactivation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in ground beef

item LOPEZ-ROMERO, JULIO - Universidad De Sonora
item GARCÍA-DÁVILA, JIMENA - Lipman Family Farms
item PEÑA-RAMOS, ETNA - Centro De Investigacion En Alimentaction Y Desarollo
item GONZÁLEZ-RÍOS, HUMBERTO - Centro De Investigacion En Alimentaction Y Desarollo
item VALENZUELA-MELENDRES, MARTIN - Centro De Investigacion En Alimentaction Y Desarollo
item Osoria, Marangeli
item Juneja, Vijay

Submitted to: Journal of Food Protection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/12/2022
Publication Date: 11/12/2022
Citation: Lopez-Romero, J.C., García-Dávila, J., Peña-Ramos, E.A., González-Ríos, H., Valenzuela-Melendres, M., Osoria, M., Juneja, V.K. 2022. Effect of citral on the thermal inactivation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in ground beef. Journal of Food Protection. 85(11):1635–1639.

Interpretive Summary: Undercooked meat and meat products are commonly implicated as transmission vehicles in food poisoning outbreaks associated with Escherichia coli O104:H4. This suggests the need to better define and quantify the heat treatment given to these foods to guard against this pathogen. We determined that E. coli O104:H4 can be rendered more sensitive to the lethal effect of heat if beef is supplemented with 3% citral. The mathematical model developed can be used to predict the time required at any temperature to kill a certain number of the pathogen. This information will be of immediate use to consumers and to the food industry and regulatory agencies to aid in the development of guidelines to ensure safety of meat and meat products.

Technical Abstract: The objective of the present study was to analyze the combined effect of heat treatment (55 to 62.5 °C) and citral (0 to 3%) on the heat resistance of Escherichia coli O104:H4 inoculated in ground beef. Inoculated meat packages were immersed in a circulating water bath stabilized at 55, 57.5, 60 and 62.5 °C for different times. The surviving microbial cells were counted in tryptic soy agar. A factorial design (4 x 4) was used to analyze the effect and interaction of heat treatment and citral. The results showed that heat and citral promoted E. coli O104:H4 thermal inactivation, suggesting a synergistic effect. At 55 °C, the incorporation of citral at 1, 2 and 3%, decreased D values (control: 42.75 min) by 85, 89, and 91%, respectively (P < 0.05). Similarly, other evaluated temperatures exhibited a citral concentration-dependent effect (P < 0.05). In conclusion, the findings could be a valuable tool for the food industry in designing a safe thermal process for inactivating E. coli O104:H4 in ground beef under similar thermal inactivation conditions.