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Growth kinetics of Listeria monocytogenes and spoilage microorganisms in fresh-cut cantaloupe

Fang, Ting, Liu, Yanhong, Huang, Lihan
Food microbiology 2013 v.34 no.1 pp. 174-181
Listeria monocytogenes, cantaloupes, food industry, growth models, logit analysis, microorganisms, risk assessment, serotypes, shelf life, specific growth rate, spoilage, temperature
The main objective of this study was to investigate the growth kinetics of Listeria monocytogenes and background microorganisms in fresh-cut cantaloupe. Fresh-cut cantaloupe samples, inoculated with three main serotypes (1/2a, 1/2b, and 4b) of L. monocytogenes, were incubated at different temperatures, ranging from 4 to 43 °C, to develop kinetic growth models. During storage studies, the population of both background microorganisms and L. monocytogenes began to increase almost immediately, with little or no lag phase for most growth curves. All growth curves, except for two growth curves of L. monocytogenes 1/2a at 4 °C, developed to full curves (containing exponential and stationary phases), and can be described by a 3-parameter logistic model. There was no significant difference (P = 0.28) in the growth behaviors and the specific growth rates of three different serotypes of L. monocytogenes inoculated to fresh-cut cantaloupe. The effect of temperature on the growth of L. monocytogenes and spoilage microorganisms was evaluated using three secondary models. For L. monocytogenes, the minimum and maximum growth temperatures were estimated by both the Ratkowsky square-root and Cardinal parameter models, and the optimum temperature and the optimum specific growth rate by the Cardinal parameter model. An Arrhenius-type model provided more accurate estimation of the specific growth rate of L. monocytogenes at temperatures <4 °C. The kinetic models developed in this study can be used by regulatory agencies and food processors for conducting risk assessment of L. monocytogenes in fresh-cut cantaloupe, and for estimating the shelf-life of fresh-cut products.