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LWT - Food Science and Technology

Potential of small-scale jar systems to extend the shelf life of raw meats, and hinder the proliferation of Campylobacter jejuni and Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli

Tamás Kovács, Kinga Lootz, Ágnes Dorn, Josu Andrieu, Marianna Horváth, Adrienne Mátyás, György Schneider

Department of Biotechnology, Nanophagetherapy Center, Enviroinvest Corporation, Pécs, 7632 Pécs, Kertváros Street 2., Hungary.


A small-scale experimental jar system was tested in order to evaluate its ability to extend the shelf life of raw meats in households. Five different gas compositions 25%CO2 + 75%N2, 50%CO2  + 50%N2, 75%N2 + 25%O2, 25%CO2 + 50%N2 + 25%O2, 20%CO2 + 80%N2 and four different raw meats were used in the study. Changes in microbial count, texture and sensory characteristics were monitored on the 3rd and 10th day of incubation. Application of 50%CO2 + 50%N2 and 25%CO2 + 50%N2 + 25%O2 could assure good viability of all investigated meat specimens except fish, on both days. A 21-day long experiment has revealed that 50%CO2+ 50%N2 had the potential to suppress spoilage related microbial count by 2/3, 1/3 and 1/5 on the 10th, 14th and 21st days respectively, prolonging the shelf life of minced pork. By using an appropriate gas mixture the proliferation of two zoonotic bacterium species Campylobacter jejuni and Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) can also be effectively suppressed.

Keywords: Spoilage microorganisms; Meat products; Modified gas atmosphere packaging; Food-borne microorganisms; Food quality.

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