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Validation of a nut muffin baking process and thermal resistance characterization of a 7-serovar Salmonella inoculum in batter when introduced via flour or walnuts
- Channaiah, Lakshmikantha H., Michael, Minto, Acuff, Jennifer C., Lopez, Keyla, Phebus, Randall K., Thippareddi, Harshavardhan, Milliken, George
- International journal of food microbiology 2019 v.294 pp. 27-30
- Salmonella, baking, batters, detection limit, heat tolerance, ingredients, inoculum, mists, muffins, ovens, temperature, walnuts, wheat flour
- This study was conducted to validate a commercial nut muffin baking process and to compare the survival of a 7-serovar Salmonella cocktail when contaminated via inoculated flour or walnuts. Enriched wheat flour or walnut pieces were mist inoculated with the Salmonella cocktail and dried back to the pre-inoculation weight, resulting in a Salmonella population level of 6.9 and 8.4 log CFU/g, respectively. Nut muffin batters were prepared separately using inoculated flour or walnuts, followed by baking at 375 °F (190.6 °C) oven temperature for 21 min and post-bake ambient air-cooling (B + C). During baking, >5-log CFU/g reductions in the Salmonella population in nut muffins was achieved in 17 min, and Salmonella was not detected by direct plating (<0.2 log CFU/g detection limit) but was recovered by enrichment at the end of 21 min of baking and B + C. In a separate baking study using an extended baking time (24 min) at 375 °F, Salmonella was detected after 24 and 22 min using enrichment plating of nut muffins prepared from inoculated flour and walnuts, respectively. The D-values of the Salmonella cocktail in nut muffin batters prepared from inoculated flour were 24.0, 4.0 and 0.6 min at 60, 65 and 70 °C; whereas, corresponding D-values in batters prepared from inoculated walnuts were 22.0, 3.6 and 1.7 min. The z-values of the Salmonella cocktail in nut muffin batters were 6.1 and 9.0 °C for inoculated flour and walnuts, respectively. This simulated commercial nut muffin baking study utilizing an oven temperature of 190.6 °C for at least 17 min validates that the process will eliminate Salmonella populations by ≥5 log CFU/g if pre-baking contamination occurs via flour or walnut ingredients.