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Effect of packaging conditions on the growth of micro-organisms and the quality characteristics of fresh mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) stored at inadequate temperatures

Gonzalez-Fandos, E., Gimenez, M., Olarte, C., Sanz, S., Simon, A.
Journal of applied microbiology 2000 v.89 no.4 pp. 624-632
Agaricus bisporus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus aureus, carbon dioxide, coliform bacteria, color, developmental stages, enterotoxins, mushrooms, oxygen, packaging, spores, temperature, texture, trays
Mushrooms were packed in two polymeric films (perforated and non-perforated PVC) and stored at 17 degrees C and 25 degrees C. The carbon dioxide and oxygen content inside the packages, aerobic mesophiles, Pseudomonas spp., faecal coliforms, Escherichia coli, anaerobic spores and major sensory factors (colour, texture, development stage and presence of moulds) were determined. The non-perforated packages had the highest contents of CO2 (6-7%), the lowest contents of O2 (0.013-0.17%) and the most desirable quality parameters (texture, development stage and absence of moulds). Pseudomonas spp. counts were around 1 logarithmic unit lower in mushrooms packaged in non-perforated film as the O2 concentrations were lower than in perforated film. The mushrooms themselves were inoculated with an enterotoxin A-producing strain of Staphylococcus aureus, packaged in overwrapped trays and stored at 17 and 25 degrees C. Staphylococcus aureus did not grow in the samples stored at 17 degrees C. Only slight growth was observed in mushrooms packaged with non-perforated film after 1 day at 25 degrees C. No enterotoxin was detected in any package. Faecal coliform counts were < 2 log cfu g-1. Escherichia coli was not isolated in any of the samples. At 25 degrees C, counts of anaerobic spores of around 2 log cfu g-1 were detected in those mushrooms packaged in non-perforated film.