Foodborne illnesses affect the health of consumers worldwide, and thus searching for potential antimicrobial agents against foodborne pathogens is given an increased focus. This research evaluated the influence of sodium lactate (SL), encapsulated (e) and unencapsulated (u) polyphosphates (PP; sodium tripolyphosphate, STP; sodium acid pyrophosphate, SPP), and their combinations on Salmonella Typhimurium, Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Staphylococcus aureus growth in cooked ground beef during 30 day storage at 4 or 10 °C. pH, water activity (aw), oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) and S. Typhimurium, E. coli O157:H7 and S. aureus counts were determined. S. Typhimurium was not found in SPP-SL combination groups after 30 day storage at 4 °C (P <0.05). Lower S. Typhimurium levels were determined in only SL containing groups stored at 10 °C than group with only tested microorganism (MO, P < 0.05). Although there was no change in S. Typhimurium load in all SL incorporated groups during 10 °C storage, S. Typhimurium count increased in other groups (P < 0.05). E. coli O157:H7 in MO and STP groups showed an increase at 4 °C, whereas it decreased in SPP-SL combination groups (P < 0.05). A gradual increase in E. coli O157:H7 at 10 °C was determined in MO and only PP incorporated groups, whereas there was a decrease in STP-SL or SPP-SL combination groups (P < 0.05). E. coli O157:H7 count was stable in SL containing groups during 10 °C storage. A gradual decrease in S. aureus was determined in all treatments at 4 °C, whereas S. aureus count increased in MO and uSTP groups during 10 °C storage (P < 0.05). There was no change in S. aureus level in only eSTP or uSPP or ueSTP containing groups at 10 °C, meantime it decreased in other groups (P < 0.05). The lowest S. aureus load was achieved by uSPP-SL or eSPP-SL or ueSPP-SL combinations after 30 days at both storage temperatures (P < 0.05). In general, pH was higher in samples with STP than those with SPP and control (P < 0.05). The lowest aw was generally obtained in all SL containing groups at both storage temperatures (P < 0.05). Lower ORP was determined in all PP incorporated groups during storage at both temperatures compared to others (P < 0.05). ORP in all treatments generally increased (P < 0.05) during storage at both storage temperatures. This study showed that encapsulation is not a factor affecting antimicrobial efficiency of PP and using PP-SL combinations have synergistic effect on reducing the viability of S. Typhimurium, E. coli O157:H7 and S. aureus and their subsequent growth ability in cooked ground beef.
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