Date of Award

5-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Food Science and Technology

Major Professor

David. A. Golden

Committee Members

P. Michael Davidson, Federico M. Harte

Abstract

Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris is a spore-forming food spoilage bacterium. Its spore is problematic to the juice industry because of its ability to grow in low pH environments and survive pasteurization processes. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of the non-thermal technology, high pressure homogenization (HPH) and the antimicrobial compound, dimethyl dicarbonate (DMDC), on inactivation of A. acidoterrestris, in a broth system. Vegetative cells and spores of five strains of A. acidoterrestris (N-1100, N-1108, N-1096, SAC and OS-CAJ) were screened for their sensitivity to HPH (0, 100, 200 and 300 MPa) in Bacilllus acidoterrestris thermophilic (BAT) broth. Strain SAC (most resistant) and OS-CAJ (least resistant) were further tested for their sensitivity to 250 ppm DMDC. This was followed by evaluation of combined effects of HPH and DMDC against strain SAC. Effects of HPHand DMDC treatment combinations (no DMDC, 250 ppm DMDC added 12 h before, 2 h before, immediately before, and immediately after 300 MPa HPH treatment) on spores of SAC over a 24-h period were evaluated. After all treatments, samples were serially diluted and surface plated onto BAT agar, and the populations were determined after incubation at 44 °C for 48 h. All HPH and DMDC treatments significantly (P<0.05) inhibited growth of vegetative cells, spores were less affected by these treatments. HPH caused a 1-to 2-log reduction in vegetative cell populations at 300 MOa for four strains, but only about 0.5-log reduction of SAC strain. Spores of all five strains were not significantly reduced by HPH. DMDC also slowed growth of vegetative cells significantly. For vegetative cells of SAC and OS-CAJ, 250 ppm DMDC reduced the population by about 2 log whereas spore population was reduced by less than 0.5 log. The addition of DMDC together with HPH slightly enhanced the inactivation effect over a 24-h period as compared with treatment with HPH alone. These results demonstrate that HPH and DMDC show promise for aiding in control of growth of vegetative cells of A. acidoterrestris. However, neither treatment alone or in combination, is very effective against spores.

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