International Microbiology, Vol 13, No 3 (2010)

Inactivation and recovery of Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella enterica and Staphylococcus aureus after high hydrostatic pressure treatments up to 900 MPa

Anna Jofré, Teresa Aymerich, Sara Bover-Cid, Margarita Garriga

Abstract


High hydrostatic pressure (HP) processing is used in the food industry to enhance the safety and extend the shelf-life of food. Although a drastic decrease in microbial viability is achieved immediately after the application of HP treatments, under favorable conditions the injured bacteria can recover. The present study evaluated the inactivation and recovery of five strains of Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella enterica and Staphylococcus aureus subjected to pressures of 400, 600, and 900 MPa under stressing and non-stressing conditions in a complex medium. Treatments at 400 and 600 MPa were found to greatly affect the viability of L. monocytogenes and S. enterica, but only a treatment of 5 min at 900 MPa decreased the levels of the three pathogens to below the detection limit (8–9 log units reduction). After HP treatment, not only the baroresistant S. aureus but also several replicates of L. monocytogenes and S. enterica strains recovered during subsequent incubation under favorable conditions. However, when HP was combined with low pH and nitrite but not with NaCl or lactate, the viability of pressurized S. aureus cells progressively decreased. As pathogenic bacteria can recover even after the application of very high pressure levels, the combination of HP with other hurdles for microbial growth, either intrinsically present in the food product or extrinsically applied, may be needed to guarantee the efficacy of technologies aimed at pathogen reduction and shelf-life extension. [Int Microbiol 2010; 13(3):105-112]

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