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International journal of food microbiology

Microstructural factors controlling the survival of food-borne pathogens in porous media.


PMID 11428575

Abstract

The survival of Salmonella typhimurium LT2, Escherichia coli K-12 and Pseudomonas putida in several model porous media poised at a water activity of 0.94 is shown to depend critically on the microstructure of the particulate matrix and the microscopic water distribution. The porous media were made by randomly dispersing a liquid inoculum containing ca. 10(7) cells/ml throughout the pores and interparticle spaces of packed beds of silica particles and Sephadex microspheres. The purely "microstructural stress" effects were isolated by comparison with a homogeneous liquid growth medium having the same water activity. The possibility of exploiting similar microstructural stress effects in food preservation is discussed.