Scallop-shell powder treatments in frankfurters checks LM and E. coli growth. (Photo: Stock File)
Scallop-shell powder reduces germs on meat, extends shelf life
Friday, April 30, 2010, 03:30 (GMT + 9)
Immersing frankfurter sausages in scallop-shell powder (SSP) importantly curbs the growth of Listeria monocytogenes (LM) and E. coli 0157:H7 and extends shelf life, according to a new study by Turkey's University of Sakarya. Researchers found that treating the sausages in SSP slurry for 10 minutes before packing achieves this.
The study, “Inhibition of Listeria Monocytogenes and E. coli 0157:H7 on Frankfurters using Scallop-shell Powder,” said the treatment also reduced the natural flora of frankfurters “without changing any [of its] sensory or chemical properties.” The paper was recently published in the Journal of Food Safety.
The authors contended that the treatment is a suitable alternative process to producing safer and longer-lasting frankfurters.
Research was conducted after the issue of LM and E. coli growth on the sausages was noted by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a dilemma. Some 500,000 lbs of cooked, ready-to-eat meats were recalled in the US between April 2006-March 2009 due to Listeria contamination.
E. coli has also been an issue with frankfurters due to inadequate heat processing or potential cross-contamination post-processing, the team said.
In the experiment, frankfurters made of 70 per cent beef and 30 per cent turkey were surface inoculated with LM or E. coli , dried for 10 minutes and then immersed in different concentrations of SSP and stirred for 10 or 30 minutes.
These sausages were examined following the treatment and again after seven days of refrigerated storage at 4°C.
Researchers found that LM populations were lower on the SPP treated frankfurters compared to the controls. Further, remaining SSP residue could continue to hamper bacterial growth during storage.
E. coli populations on the frankfurter were reduced following 10-minute exposure and even more after the 30-minute treatment with SSP, said the group.
No large difference was noted between the effects of 0.10 per cent and 0.05 per cent SSP.
The research thus concluded that amounts of LM and E. coli on meat can be “significantly reduced” through immersion in SSP slurry during a seven-day storage period in a refrigerator, without affecting the sensory properties, ascorbic acid content or pH of the frankfurters.
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By Natalia Real