Ground meat has been frequently implicated as a vehicle of pathogenic bacteria. Once microorganisms contaminating the surfaces are embedded within the comminuted meat, they become difficult to inactivate due to the clumpy structure. In this study, we investigated the effectiveness of decontaminating ground pork with supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2) treatment at various conditions (temperatures: 40, 45C; pressures: 100, 120, 140 bar; and treatment times: 20, 30, 40min). The reduction of microorganisms in ground pork ranged from 1.66 to 2.42logcfu/g (total mesophilic plate counts, 1.66; Listeria monocytogenes, 2.42; and Salmonella Typhimurium, 2.21logcfu/g) following SC-CO2 treatment at 45C and 140 bar for 40min. Even though solid foods were generally difficult to control with SC-CO2, our results indicate that it can be used to reduce the levels of microbes in ground pork through rapid diffusion. Thus, SC-CO2 can be suggested as helpful and novel devices for improving the microbiological safety of comminuted meat products. +PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: The SC-CO2 treatment may contribute to reduce the microbial load of pathogenic bacteria contaminated deeply within ground meat in processed meat industries. It can be applied to inactivate bacterial cells of foodborne pathogens including Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella Typhimurium and other spoiling bacteria, mostly mesophilic bacteria in comminuted meats. The major reason why it is useful especially for meat products is that it can be used at relatively mild condition than heat treatment rarely affecting meat quality. It can penetrate deep into a clumpy structure of ground meat depending on its physical property without toxicity. It is expected that SC-CO2 can be used to sterile ground pork in combination with other antimicrobial co-solvents to develop microbiological safety of meat products.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science