Inactivation of Listeria innocua in skim milk by pulsed electric fields and nisin.Int J Food Microbiol. 1999 Oct 01; 51(1):19-30.IJ
Pulsed electric fields (PEF) is an emerging nonthermal processing technology used to inactivate microorganisms in liquid foods such as milk. PEF results in loss of cell membrane functionality that leads to inactivation of the microorganism. There are many processes that aid in the stability and safety of foods. The combination of different preservation factors, such as nisin and PEF, to control microorganisms should be explored. The objective of this research was to study the inactivation of Listeria innocua suspended in skim milk by PEF as well as the sensitization of PEF treated L. innocua to nisin. The selected electric field intensity was 30, 40 and 50 kV/cm and the number of pulses applied was 10.6, 21.3 and 32. The sensitization exhibited by PEF treated L. innocua to nisin was assessed for 10 or 100 IU nisin/ml. A progressive decrease in the population of L. innocua was observed for the selected field intensities, with the greatest reduction being 2 1/2 log cycles (U). The exposure of L. innocua to nisin after PEF had an additive effect on the inactivation of the microorganism as that exhibited by the PEF alone. As the electric field, number of pulses and nisin concentration increased, synergism was observed in the inactivation of L. innocua as a result of exposure to nisin after PEF. The reduction of L. innocua accomplished by exposure to 10 IU nisin/ml after 32 pulsed electric fields was 2, 2.7, and 3.4 U for an electric field intensity of 30, 40, and 50 kV/cm, respectively. Population of L. innocua subjected to 100 IU nisin/ml after PEF was 2.8-3.8 U for the selected electric field intensities and 32 pulses. The designed model for the inactivation of L. innocua as a result of the PEF followed by exposure to nisin proved to be accurate in the prediction of the inactivation of L. innocua in skim milk containing 1.2 or 37 IU nisin/ml. Inactivation of L. innocua in skim milk containing 37 IU nisin/ml resulted in a decrease in population of 3.7 U.