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Inactivation of Salmonella enterica and spoilage microorganisms in orange juice treated with dimethyl dicarbonate (DMDC)

Cheng, Rebecca M., Churey, John J., Worobo, Randy W.
International journal of food microbiology 2018 v.285 pp. 152-157
Salmonella enterica, ambient temperature, fermentation, food spoilage, molds (fungi), orange juice, pH, pathogens, refrigeration, serotypes, spoilage microorganisms, yeasts
Salmonella enterica is the pertinent pathogen associated with orange juice products that have resulted in numerous foodborne outbreaks. Although fresh orange juice typically has a pH below 4.0, which inhibits most pathogen growth, S. enterica can survive at low pH for extended periods. Additionally, fresh juice contains spoilage microorganisms such as natural yeasts and molds, which can grow at low pH, and may cause fermentation and product spoilage if left untreated. Numerous Salmonella outbreaks linked to fresh orange juice, as well as the burden of product spoilage, have generated increased demand for alternative, non-thermal treatments that can ensure pathogen- and spoilage-free products. In this study, the effect of dimethyl dicarbonate (DMDC) on pathogen and spoilage microorganism inactivation in orange juice has been investigated with two experiments. First, pasteurized orange juice was inoculated with approximately 106–107 CFU/ml of five serotypes of S. enterica per ml and treated with DMDC to test the effectiveness of inactivation against Salmonella. For the fungal spoilage microorganism study, fresh orange juice was held at room temperature to increase natural yeast and mold count to roughly 105–106 CFU/ml, followed with treatment with DMDC. DMDC at two concentrations (172 and 200 ppm) was used, and the tests were carried out at ambient (21 °C ± 3 °C) and refrigeration (4 °C) temperatures. There was a >5-log reduction of Salmonella at 4 °C after 24 h at both 172 and 200 ppm of DMDC. For the treatment of fungal spoilage microorganisms, a nearly 5 and 4 log reduction of yeasts and molds was observed at ambient temperature and 4 °C, respectively. These results suggest that DMDC is most effective for use under the 4 °C holding conditions to inactivate S. enterica, and should be coupled with an additional preservative system for fungal spoilage control to produce safe orange juice that retains fresh quality.