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High-pressure processing and antimicrobial biodegradable packaging to control Listeria monocytogenes during storage of cooked ham

Marcos, B., Aymerich, T., Monfort, J.M., Garriga, M.
Food microbiology 2008 v.25 no.1 pp. 177-182
pork, ham, cooked foods, high pressure treatment, food packaging, films (materials), alginates, biodegradable products, antimicrobial agents, enterocins, control methods, bacterial contamination, Listeria monocytogenes, storage temperature, refrigeration, food quality, microbiological quality, food safety, storage quality, shelf life
The efficiency of combining high-pressure processing (HPP) and active packaging technologies to control Listeria monocytogenes growth during the shelf life of artificially inoculated cooked ham was assessed. Three lots of cooked ham were prepared: control, packaging with alginate films, and packaging with antimicrobial alginate films containing enterocins. After packaging, half of the samples were pressurized. Sliced cooked ham stored at 6 °C experienced a quick growth of L. monocytogenes. Both antimicrobial packaging and pressurization delayed the growth of the pathogen. However, at 6 °C the combination of antimicrobial packaging and HPP was necessary to achieve a reduction of inoculated levels without recovery during 60 days of storage. Further storage at 6 °C of pressurized antimicrobial packed cooked ham resulted in L. monocytogenes levels below the detection limit (day 90). On the other hand, storage at 1 °C controlled the growth of the pathogen until day 39 in non-pressurized ham, while antimicrobial packaging and storage at 1 °C exerted a bacteriostatic effect for 60 days. All HPP lots stored at 1 °C led to counts <100 CFU/g at day 60. Similar results were observed when combining both technologies. After a cold chain break no growth of L. monocytogenes was observed in pressurized ham packed with antimicrobial films, showing the efficiency of combining both technologies.