International Microbiology, Vol 8, No 1 (2005)

A comparison of ready-to-use systems for evaluating the microbiological quality of acidic fruit juices using non-pasteurized orange juice as an experimental model

Analí Ramazotti Ferrati, Paula Tavolaro, Maria Teresa Destro, Mariza Landgraf, Bernadette D.G.M. Franco


Several alternative analytical methods are currently available for the rapid microbiological testing of food. Due to their many advantages, particularly their convenience of use, the popularity of ready-to-use systems for the enumeration of hygiene indicator microorganisms is increasing. However, the ability of these systems to enumerate stressed microorganisms, such as those that may be found growing in acidic foods, is unknown. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of Petrifilm and SimPlate plates for the enumeration of total aerobes and fungi (yeasts and molds) in acidic fruit juices, using non-pasteurized orange juice as an experimental model. The samples were analyzed before and after neutralization of pH, and the results were compared with those obtained using conventional procedures, i.e. pour-plates containing Standard Methods Agar, acidified potato dextrose agar, or dichloran-glycerol agar. The results obtained with Petrifilm and SimPlate for counts of mesophilic aerobes as well as for yeast and mold correlated well with those obtained using conventional procedures. Although no statistically significant differences were observed between counts of non-neutralized and neutralized samples (α ≤ 0.05), better correlation indexes were observed in the neutralized samples. Both Petrifilm and SimPlate proved to be good alternative methods for testing the microbiological quality of acidic fruit juices. [Int Microbiol 2005; 8(1):49-53]

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