Saponins are naturally occurring compounds known as triterpenoid glycosides found in a variety of plant species. Saponins are approved for use in the food industry as foaming agents. When combined with water or organic acid in spray treatments, saponins' foaming property may improve carcass decontamination. In the first experiment of this study, lean beef carcass surfaces were experimentally inoculated with a fecal slurry containing antibiotic-resistant Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella Typhimurium. Spray-washing treatments with 1% saponin followed by a water wash, or 1% saponin followed by 2% acetic acid, were more effective for reducing aerobic bacteria than saponin, water, 2% acetic acid washes alone. However, 1% saponin followed by a either a water or 2% acetic acid wash was no more effective than a 2% acetic acid wash for reducing populations of E. coli O157:H7 or Salmonella Typhimurium. In the second experiment, experimentally inoculated beef surfaces were subjected to spray treatments with water followed by another water wash, water followed by a 2% acetic acid wash, 1% saponin followed by a water wash, or 1% saponin followed by a 2% acetic acid wash. When examined for effectiveness against all bacterial populations, 1% saponin followed by a water wash and 1% saponin followed by a 2% acetic acid wash were as effective as two water washes or a water wash followed by 2% acid for reducing aerobic bacteria, E. coli O157:H7, and Salmonella Typhimurium from beef surfaces. Under the conditions described, reductions associated with combination spray washes may be attributed to the physical removal of bacteria during the spraying process, not to any specific action of saponin.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science