Maintenance of Safety and Quality of Refrigerated Ready-to-Cook Seasoned Ground Beef Product (Meatball) by Combining Gamma Irradiation with Modified Atmosphere Packaging

Güneş G. , OZTURK A., YILMAZ N., Özçelik B.

JOURNAL OF FOOD SCIENCE, cilt.76, 2011 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier


Meatballs were prepared by mixing ground beef and spices and inoculated with E. coli O157:H7, L. monocytogenes, and S. enteritidis before packaged in modified atmosphere (3% O(2) + 50% CO(2) + 47% N(2)) or aerobic conditions. The packaged samples were irradiated at 0.75, 1.5, and 3 kGy doses and stored at 4 degrees C for 21 d. Survival of the pathogens, total plate count, lipid oxidation, color change, and sensory quality were analyzed during storage. Irradiation at 3 kGy inactivated all the inoculated (approximately 10(6) CFU/g) S. enteritidis and L. monocytogenes cells in the samples. The inoculated (approximately 10(6) CFU/g) E. coli O157: H7 cells were totally inactivated by 1.5 kGy irradiation. D(10)-values for E. coli O157: H7, S. enteritidis, and L. monocytogenes were 0.24, 0.43, and 0.41 kGy in MAP and 0.22, 0.39, and 0.39 kGy in aerobic packages, respectively. Irradiation at 1.5 and 3 kGy resulted in 0.13 and 0.36 mg MDA/kg increase in 2-thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) reaching 1.02 and 1.49 MDA/kg, respectively, on day 1. Irradiation also caused significant loss of color and sensory quality in aerobic packages. However, MAP effectively inhibited the irradiation-induced quality degradations during 21-d storage. Thus, combining irradiation (3 kGy) and MAP (3% O(2) + 50% CO(2) + 47% N(2)) controlled the safety risk due to the potential pathogens and maintained qualities of meatballs during 21-d refrigerated storage.