Evaluation of pulsed electric fields technology for liquid whole egg pasteurization
Posted: May 18th, 2010 - 8:51am
Source: Food Microbiology
This investigation evaluated the lethal efficiency of pulsed electric fields (PEF) to pasteurize liquid whole egg (LWE). To achieve this aim, we describe the inactivation of Salmonella Enteritidis and the heat resistant Salmonella Senftenberg 775W in terms of treatment time and specific energy at electric field strengths ranging from 20 to 45 kV/cm. Based on our results, the target microorganism for this technology in LWE varied with intensity of the PEF treatment. For electric field strengths greater than 25 kV/cm, Salmonella Enteritidis was the most PEF resistant strain. For this Salmonella serovar the level of inactivation depended only on the specific energy applied: i.e., 106, 272, and 472 kJ/kg for 1, 2, and 3 Log10 reductions, respectively. The developed mathematical equations based on the Weibull distribution permit estimations of maximum inactivation level of 1.9 Log10 cycles of the target Salmonella serovar in the best case scenario: 250 kJ/kg and 25 kV/cm. This level of inactivation indicates that PEF technology by itself cannot guarantee the security of LWE based on USDA and European regulations. The occurrence of cell damage due to PEF in the Salmonella population opens the possibility of designing combined processes enabling increased microbial lethality in LWE.