Pathogen study develops processing parameters
temperatures and time can be used as a processing tool by
manufacturers of ready-to-eat poultry products.
The model predicts thermal processing schedules for poultry products cooked in an air-steam impingement oven. The results were published in the March issue of the Journal of Food Protection. The increasing demand of ready-to-eat poultry products has led to serious concerns over product safety, and more emphasis has been placed on thorough cooking of products, the scientists stated. In the study, processing conditions and thermal inactivation of Listeria innocua in chicken breast meats were evaluated during convection cooking in a pilot-plant scale air-steam oven. A predictive model was developed by integrating heat and mass transfer models with a pathogen kinetics model to predict temperature, water content, product yield, and bacterial inactivation during air-steam cooking. Skinless boneless chicken breasts were cooked at oven air temperatures of 177 and 200°C for 2 to 10 min at a humidity of 70 to 75 per cent moisture by volume. The air velocity was 1 m/s at the exit of the nozzles. The reduction in Listeria in chicken breasts after 2 to 5 min of cooking was from 0.3 to 1.4 log CFU/g and from 0.8 to 1.8 log CFU/g at 177 and 200°C, respectively. After cooking for 10 min at both temperatures, no pathogen survivors were detected in any of the cooked chicken breasts from an initial bacterial concentration of 106 CFU/g. "The developed model can be used as a tool to assist in evaluating thermal processing schedules for poultry products cooked in an air-steam impingement oven," the scientists concluded. Journal of Food Protection, Volume 70, Number 3. By Pradhan, Abani K.1; Li, Yanbin2; Marcy, John A.3; Johnson, Michael G.4; Tamplin, Mark L.5.