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An Evaluation of Alternatives to Nitrites and Sulfites to Inhibit the Growth of <em>Salmonella enterica</em> and <em>Listeria monocytogenes</em> in Meat Products

Lamas, Alexandre, Miranda, José Manuel, Vázquez, Beatriz, Cepeda, Alberto, Franco, Carlos Manuel
Foods 2016 v.5 no.4
Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella enterica, affordability, antibacterial properties, chitosan, food industry, food pathogens, food preservatives, laws and regulations, minced meat, minimum inhibitory concentration, models, organic salts, sodium acetate, sodium nitrite, sodium sulfite
In recent years, the use of nitrites and sulfites as food preservatives has been a cause for concern due to the health problems that these additives can cause in humans. Natural products have been studied as an alternative, but most of them have hardly been applied in the food industry for technological and economic reasons. In this sense, organic salts such as sodium acetate are a good alternative due to their affordability. Thus, this study evaluated the capacity of sodium nitrite, sodium sulfite, a sodium acetate product (TQI C-6000), and chitosan to inhibit two important foodborne pathogens, Salmonella enterica and Listeria monocytogenes. The MIC of each chemical was in vitro evaluated and their antibacterial action was subsequently checked in situ using minced meat as a food model. MIC values of sodium nitrite (10,000 mg/L) and sodium sulfite (50,000 mg/L) for Salmonella enterica were higher than the values allowed by legislation (450 mg/L for sulfites and 150 mg/L for nitrites). Additionally, the sodium acetate product caused the inhibition of Salmonella enterica and Listeria at a relative low quantity. The two foodborne pathogens were inhibited in the food model with 1% of the sodium acetate product. Additionally, there were no significant differences between sodium nitrite, sodium sulfite, and sodium acetate products in the inhibition of Salmonella enterica and Listeria monocytogenes in the food model. Thus, products based on sodium acetate can be an alternative to traditional preservatives in food products.