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The effects of atmospheric pressure cold plasma treatment on microbiological, physical-chemical and sensory characteristics of vacuum packaged beef loin

Bauer, A., Ni, Y., Bauer, S., Paulsen, P., Modic, M., Walsh, J.L., Smulders, F.J.M.
Meat science 2017 v.128 pp. 77-87
Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, atmospheric pressure, beef, color, consumer acceptance, lipid peroxidation, loins (meat cut), myoglobin, nitrates, nitrites, packaging films, protein denaturation, sensory properties, vacuum packaging
Effects on vacuum packaged and non-packaged beef longissimus samples exposed to atmospheric cold plasma (ACP) generated at different powers were studied over a 10day period of vacuum-, and a subsequent 3day period of aerobic storage. Exposure of non-covered beef samples under high power ACP conditions resulted in increased a*, b*, Chroma and Hue values, but ACP treatment of packaged loins did not impact colour (L*, a*, b*, Chroma, Hue), lipid peroxidation, sarcoplasmic protein denaturation, nitrate/nitrite uptake, or myoglobin isoform distribution. Colour values measured after 3days of aerobic storage following unpackaging (i.e. 20days post-mortem) were similar and all compliant with consumer acceptability standards. Exposure to ACP of the polyamide-polyethylene packaging film inoculated with Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes and two Escherichia coli strains resulted in >2 log reduction without affecting the integrity of the packaging matrix. Results indicate that ACP can reduce microbial numbers on surfaces of beef packages without affecting characteristics of the packaged beef.