Main content area

A quantitative microbiological exposure assessment model for Bacillus cereus in pasteurized rice cakes using computational fluid dynamics and Monte Carlo simulation

Park, Hyeon Woo, Yoon, Won Byong
Food research international 2019 v.125 pp. 108562
Bacillus cereus, Monte Carlo method, acidification, cold, exposure assessment, fluid mechanics, heat tolerance, heat transfer, pasteurization, probability distribution, regression analysis, rice cakes, shelf life, simulation models, temperature
The objective of this study was to develop quantitative microbial exposure assessment models for Bacillus cereus in packaged rice cakes (PRC). Probability distribution for growth of B. cereus in PRC was estimated and effects of thermal processing and acidification on extending the shelf-life of PRC were quantitatively assessed. Heat penetration curves at cold point of pasteurized PRC were successfully predicted using heat transfer simulation model and nonlinear regression model (root mean squared errors (RMSE) < 1.64 °C). The final contamination level in PRC of slab-shape package (>−0.85 log CFU/g at 95% percentile) was lower than that in oval-shape package (>3.41 log CFU/g at 95% percentile). This is due to the shorter come-up time at the cold point in the slab-shape in comparison with the oval package. Acidification significantly inhibited the growth of B. cereus and decreased the thermal resistance of B. cereus, which resulted in a decrease of the median values (1.82 log CFU/g for both B2C and B2B products). Results of quantitative microbial exposure assessment for Bacillus cereus in PRC showed that a combination of acidification and low temperature pasteurization could improve the safety of PRC (<−2.43 log CFU/g at 95% percentile).