Journal of food science

Effects of High-Hydrostatic Pressure on Inactivation of Human Norovirus and Physical and Sensory Characteristics of Oysters.

PMID 25943304


The purpose of the study was to determine the effect of high-hydrostatic pressure (HHP) on inactivation of human norovirus (HuNoV) in oysters and to evaluate organoleptic characteristics of oysters treated at pressure levels required for HuNoV inactivation. Genogroup I.1 (GI.1) or Genogroup II.4 (GII.4) HuNoV was inoculated into oysters and treated at 300 to 600 MPa at 25 and 0 °C for 2 min. After HHP, viral particles were extracted by porcine gastric mucin-conjugated magnetic beads (PGM-MBs) and viral RNA was quantified by real-time RT-PCR. Lower initial temperature (0 °C) significantly enhanced HHP inactivation of HuNoV compared to ambient temperature (25 °C; P < 0.05). HHP at 350 and 500 MPa at 0 °C could achieve more than 4 log10 reduction of GII.4 and GI.1 HuNoV in oysters, respectively. HHP treatments did not significantly change color or texture of oyster tissue. A 1- to 5-scale hedonic sensory evaluation on appearance, aroma, color, and overall acceptability showed that pressure-treated oysters received significantly higher quality scores than the untreated control (P < 0.05). Elevated pressure levels at 450 and 500 MPa did not significantly affect scores compared to 300 MPa at 0 °C, indicating increasing pressure level did not affect sensory acceptability of oysters. Oysters treated at 0 °C had slightly lower acceptability than the group treated at room temperature on day 1 (P < 0.05), but after 1 wk storage, no significant difference in sensory attributes and consumer desirability was observed (P > 0.05).