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Validation of the baking process as a kill-step for controlling Salmonella in muffins

Channaiah, Lakshmikantha H., Michael, Minto, Acuff, Jennifer C., Phebus, Randall K., Thippareddi, Harshavardhan, Olewnik, Maureen, Milliken, George
International journal of food microbiology 2017 v.250 pp. 1-6
Salmonella, baking, batters, cooling, flour, heat inactivation, ingredients, muffins, risk, serotypes, temperature, water activity
This research investigates the potential risk of Salmonella in muffins when contamination is introduced via flour, the main ingredient. Flour was inoculated with a 3-strain cocktail of Salmonella serovars (Newport, Typhimurium, and Senftenberg) and re-dried to achieve a target concentration of ~8logCFU/g. The inoculated flour was then used to prepare muffin batter following a standard commercial recipe. The survival of Salmonella during and after baking at 190.6°C for 21min was analyzed by plating samples on selective and injury-recovery media at regular intervals. The thermal inactivation parameters (D and z values) of the 3-strain Salmonella cocktail were determined. A ≥5logCFU/g reduction in Salmonella population was demonstrated by 17min of baking, and a 6.1logCFU/g reduction in Salmonella population by 21min of baking. The D-values of Salmonella serovar cocktail in muffin batter were 62.2±3.0, 40.1±0.9 and 16.5±1.7min at 55, 58 and 61°C, respectively; and the z-value was 10.4±0.6°C. The water activity (aw) of the muffin crumb (0.928) after baking and 30min of cooling was similar to that of pre-baked muffin batter, whereas the aw of the muffin crust decreased to (0.700). This study validates a typical commercial muffin baking process utilizing an oven temperature of 190.6°C for at least 17min as an effective kill-step in reducing a Salmonella serovar population by ≥5logCFU/g.