Due to undesirable quality changes, Lebanon bologna is often processed at temperatures that do not exceed 48.8°C (120°F). Therefore, it is important to study parameters that influence the destruction of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in Lebanon bologna. The objective of the present study was to determine the influence of curing salts (NaCl and NaNO2) on the destruction of E. coli O157:H7 during Lebanon bologna processing. Fermentation to pH 4.7 at 37.7°C reduced populations of E. coli O157:H7 by approximately 0.3 log10, either in the presence or absence of curing salts. Subsequent destruction of E. coli O157:H7 during heating of fermented product to 46.1°C was significantly reduced by the presence of 3.5% NaCl and 156 ppm NaNO2, compared to product without curing salts (P < 0.01). The presence of a higher level of NaCl (5%) in Lebanon bologna inhibited the growth of lactic acid bacteria (LAB), which yielded product with higher pH (∼5.0) and significantly reduced the destruction of E. coli O157:H7 even further (P < 0.05). Lower concentrations of NaCl (0, 2.5%) yielded Lebanon bologna with higher LAB counts and lower pHs, compared to product with 5% NaCl. When lactic acid was used to adjust pH in product containing different levels of NaCl, it was determined that low pH was directly influencing destruction of E. coli O157:H7, not NaCl concentration.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science