Effect of different modified atmospheric packaging (MAP) gaseous combinations on Campylobacter and the shelf-life of chilled poultry fillets

Hazel Meredith, V Valdramidis, B T Rotabakk, M Sivertsvik, D A McDowell, D J Bolton

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    Studies were undertaken to investigate the effect of different modified atmospheric packaging (MAP) gaseous combinations on Campylobacter and the natural microflora on poultry fillets. Skinless chicken fillets were stored in gaseous mixtures of 10%, 30%, 50%, 70% and 90% CO2 balanced with N2, 80:20% O2:N2 and 40:30:30% CO2:O2:N2 and control conditions (air) at 2 C. Samples were analysed periodically for (previously inoculated) Campylobacter, total viable counts (TVC) (mesophiles), TVC (psychrophiles), Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonas and lactic acid bacteria (LAB) over 17 days of storage. The carbon dioxide solubility was determined by monitoring the changes in the headspace volume over time using a buoyancy technique and performing calculations based on volumetric measurements and the Henry's constant. Henry's constant was also used to estimate the oxygen solubility in the chicken fillets. The presence of O2 in the MAP gaseous mixtures increased the rate of Campylobacter decline on poultry fillets but in general the counts obtained in aerobic versus anaerobic packs were not significantly (P > 0.05)different. CO2 inhibited the growth of TVC, TEC, LAB and Pseudomonas but only at MAP gaseous combinations containing 50e90% CO2 where concentrations of up to 2000 ppm CO2 were recorded in the fillets after 5 days. Under these conditions a shelf-life in excess of 17 days at 2 C was obtained. Although, dissolved O2, at levels of 33 ppm in 80:20% O2:N2 packs after 3 days, reduced Campylobacter, it also favoured the growth of the other microbes on the chicken. The optimum gaseous mixture for achieving the combined objectives of reducing Campylobacter and extending shelf was therefore 40:30:30 CO2:O2:N2, which achieved a shelf-life in excess of 14 days.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)196-203
    JournalFood Microbiology
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2014

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    • Campylobacter
    • Poultry
    • Modified atmospheric packaging
    • Shelf-life


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