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Occurrence of molds on laminated paperboard for aseptic packaging, selection of the most hydrogen peroxide- and heat-resistant isolates and determination of their thermal death kinetics in sterile distilled water

Delgado, Denise Aparecida, de Souza Sant’Ana, Anderson, de Massaguer, Pilar Rodriguez
World journal of microbiology & biotechnology 2012 v.28 no.7 pp. 2609-2614
Penicillium, Talaromyces flavus, aseptic packaging, death, heat treatment, hydrogen, hydrogen peroxide, paperboard, pulp, sampling, spores, temperature, tomatoes
This study aimed at enumerating molds (heat-labile and heat-resistant) on the surface of paperboard material to be filled with tomato pulps through an aseptic system and at determining the most heat- and hydrogen peroxide-resistant strains. A total of 118 samples of laminated paperboard before filling were collected, being 68 before and 50 after the hydrogen peroxide bath. Seven molds, including heat-resistant strains (Penicillium variotii and Talaromyces flavus) with counts ranging between 0.71 and 1.02 CFU/cm2 were isolated. P. variotii was more resistant to hydrogen peroxide than T. flavus and was inactivated after heating at 85 °C/15 min. When exposed to 35 % hydrogen peroxide at 25 °C, T. flavus (F5E2) and N. fischeri (control) were less resistant than P. variotti (F1A1). P. citrinum (F7E2) was shown to be as resistant as P. variotti. The D values (the time to cause one logarithmic cycle reduction in a microbial population at a determined temperature) for spores of P. variotii (F1A1) and N. fischeri (control) with 4 months of age at 85 and 90 °C were 3.9 and 4.5 min, respectively. Although the contamination of packages was low, the presence of heat- and chemical-resistant molds may be of concern for package sterility and product stability during shelf-life. To our knowledge, this is the first report that focuses on the isolation of molds, including heat-resistant ones, contaminating paperboard packaging material and on estimating their resistance to the chemical and physical processes used for packaging sterilization.