Effects of irradiation dose and O(2) and CO(2) concentrations in packages on foodborne pathogenic bacteria and quality of ready-to-cook seasoned ground beef product (meatball) during refrigerated storage.

PMID 22566763


Combined effects of gamma irradiation and concentrations of O(2) (0, 5, 21%) and CO(2) (0, 50%) on survival of Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella enteritidis, Listeria monocytogenes, lipid oxidation, and color changes in ready-to-cook seasoned ground beef (meatball) during refrigerated storage were investigated. Ground beef seasoned with mixed spices was packaged in varying O(2) and CO(2) levels and irradiated at 2 and 4 kGy. Irradiation (4 kGy) caused about 6 Log inactivation of the inoculated pathogens. Inactivation of Salmonella was 0.9- and 0.4-Log lower in 0 and 5% O(2), respectively, compared to 21% O(2). Irradiation at 2 and 4 kGy increased thiobarbituric acid reactive substances in meatballs by 0.12 and 0.28 mg malondialdehyde kg(-1), respectively, compared to control. In reduced-O(2) packages, radiation-induced oxidation was lower, and the initial color of an irradiated sample was maintained. Packaging with 0% + 50% CO(2) or 5% O(2) + 50% CO(2) maintained the oxidative and the color quality of irradiated meatballs during 14-day refrigerated storage. MAP with 5%O(2) + 50% CO(2) combined with irradiation up to 4 kGy is suggested for refrigerated meatballs to reduce the foodborne pathogen risk and to maintain the quality.