Microbial quality and shelf life prediction of vacuum-packaged ready to eat beef rounds containing gum arabic
Research has shown that gum arabic from Acacia senegal var. kerensis can be used in beef rounds, at a level of 2.5% of the formulated product weight, as a binder and texture modifier. However, the effect of gum arabic addition on the microbial quality and shelf life of the resulting meat product has not yet been reported. Thus, the objective of this work was to study the microbial quality of beef rounds containing 2.5% gum arabic and to study shelf life based on the growth parameters of Total Viable Counts (TVC) and Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB). Beef round samples were injected at 30% with curing brines containing gum arabic and cooked through boiling. The growth kinetics of LAB and TVC were studied for vacuum packaged sliced beef round samples stored at 7 oC and 15 oC for a period of 21 days. Baranyi and modified Gompertz models were used to fit the LAB and TVC data obtained using DMFit. Results of microbial analysis indicated that coliforms, yeasts and molds as well as pathogenic bacteria; Salmonella, Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus, were below detection limit. In addition, TVC and LAB were found to be 1.87 ± 1.09 and 1.25 ± 0.75 Log 10 CFU g-1, respectively. The results of accuracy analysis showed that both the Baranyi and modified Gompertz models were adequate in representing the bacterial growth in beef rounds injected with curing brines containing gum arabic. The predicted shelf life was found to be between 84.3 – 88.1 h and 158.0 – 173.1 h at 15 oC and 7 oC, respectively.
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