Determination of 5-log pathogen reduction times for heat-processed, acidified vegetable brines

Journal of Food Protection
F BreidtRoger F McFeeters


Recent outbreaks of acid-resistant food pathogens in acid foods, including apple cider and orange juice, have raised concerns about the safety of acidified vegetable products. We determined pasteurization times and temperatures needed to assure a 5-log reduction in the numbers of Escherichia coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella strains in acidified cucumber pickle brines. Cocktails of five strains of each pathogen were (separately) used for heat-inactivation studies between 50 and 60 degrees C in brines that had an equilibrated pH value of 4.1. Salmonella strains were found to be less heat resistant than E. coli O157:H7 or L. monocytogenes strains. The nonlinear killing curves generated during these studies were modeled using a Weibull function. We found no significant difference in the heat-killing data for E. coli O157:H7 and L. monocytogenes (P = 0.9709). The predicted 5-log reduction times for E. coli O157:H7 and L. monocytogenes were found to fit an exponential decay function. These data were used to estimate minimum pasteurization times and temperatures needed to ensure safe processing of acidified pickle products and show that current industry pasteurization practices offer a significant margin of safety.


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May 4, 2011·Journal of Food Science·Frederick Breidt, Jane M Caldwell
May 26, 2018·FEMS Microbiology Letters·Andrea R GilbertRohan V Tikekar
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Related Concepts

Adaptation, Physiological
Product Approval
Food Processing
Food Microbiology
Food Processing Industry
Hot Temperature
Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
Listeria monocytogenes
Cucumber (Vegetable)

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