Screening for Listeria monocytogenes surrogate strains applicable to food processing by ultrahigh pressure and pulsed electric field.

TitleScreening for Listeria monocytogenes surrogate strains applicable to food processing by ultrahigh pressure and pulsed electric field.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsWaite-Cusic, JG, Diono, BHS, Yousef, AE
JournalJ Food Prot
Date Published2011 Oct
KeywordsColony Count, Microbial, Consumer Product Safety, Electric Stimulation, Food Contamination, Food Handling, Food Microbiology, Food Preservation, Humans, Hydrostatic Pressure, Listeria monocytogenes

Ultrahigh pressure (UHP) and pulsed electric field (PEF) are emerging processing technologies developed to enhance the safety while maintaining the fresh-like quality of food. For each food and process combination, a pathogen of concern (i.e., target pathogen) must be determined, and a low-risk microorganism that serves as the pathogen surrogate for process validation must be identified. The objective of this study was to identify a surrogate for Listeria monocytogenes for UHP and PEF process validation. Potential surrogates tested include four Lactobacillus spp., a Pediococcus sp., and a Listeria innocua strain. These were compared with nine L. monocytogenes strains, with regard to sensitivity to UHP and PEF processing. For UHP treatment, the strains were suspended in citrate-phosphate buffer (pH 7.0 or 4.5), sweet whey, or acidified whey and pressure processed at 500 MPa for 1 min. For PEF treatment, the strains were suspended in NaCl solution, acid whey, or sweet whey and processed at 25 kV/cm. The lethality of UHP or PEF treatment varied considerably, depending on medium types and pH and the treated strain. Treating the tested microorganisms with UHP inactivated 0.3 to 6.9 log CFU/ml for L. monocytogenes strains and 0.0 to 4.7 log CFU/ml for the potential surrogates. When PEF was employed, populations of tested microorganisms decreased < 1.0 to 5.3 log CFU/ml. L. monocytogenes V7 and OSY-8578 were among the most resistant strains to UHP and PEF treatments, and thus are candidate target strains. Lactobacillus plantarum ATCC 8014 demonstrated similar or greater resistance compared with the target organisms; therefore, the bacterium is proposed as a surrogate of L. monocytogenes for both processes under the conditions specified in the food matrices tested in this study.

Alternate JournalJ. Food Prot.
PubMed ID22004812