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Control of foodborne pathogens during sufu fermentation and aging

Shi, X., Fung, D.Y.C.
Critical reviews in food science and nutrition 2000 v.40 no.5 pp. 399-425
soybean products, fermented foods, tofu, food safety, food contamination, Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, Gram-negative bacteria, Enterococcus, cultured product starters, fermentation, food processing quality, plate count, microbial contamination, brining, enzymes, physical properties, food composition, nutrient content, Bacillus (bacteria), duration, Shewanella putrefaciens
Control of the foodborne pathogens Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus, and Listeria monocytogenes during sufu fermentation was evaluated. Before fermentation, pathogens were inoculated onto tofu (substrate for sufu) at 5 log cfu/g or 3 log cfu/g, and starter culture (Actinomucor elegans) was inoculated at 3 log cfu/g. After 2 days of fermentation at 30 degrees C, the four pathogens reached 7 to 9 log cfu/g, and the mold count reached 6 to 7 log cfu/g. After fermentation, sufu samples were aged in a solution of 10% alcohol + 12% NaCl. After 1 month of aging, the total bacterial count was 6 to 7 log cfu/g, but all foodborne pathogens and mold were reduced to nondetectable levels. The total bacterial count decreased after aging for 2 months and 3 months, but the differences were not significant (P > 0.05) compared with the count after 1 month. Microorganism in experimental sufu from different aging periods and in commercial sufu were compared. A total of 270 isolates were purified and identified by the BBL Crystal Identification System. From the experimental sufu samples, 49 Bacillus spp. (20.4%), 167 Enterococcus spp. (69.6%), 6 Shewanella putrefaciens (2.4%), and 18 miscellaneous Gram-negative bacilli (7.5%) were identified. From commercial sufu samples, 17 Bacillus spp. (56.7%), 2 Enterococcus durans (6.7%), 5 miscellaneous Gram-negative bacilli (16.7%), 5 Corynbacterium aquaticum (16.7%), and 1 Shewanella putrefaciens (3.3%) were obtained. Although the longer aging period did not significantly decrease the total bacterial count, it may help in the development of sufu flavor. This study showed that sufu fermentation and aging can control common foodborne pathogens, so sufu is a safe product even though its preparation does not include pasteurization.