Applying N-halamine Antimicrobial in Poultry Production and Food Processing for Improving Food Safety
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
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Food safety and food losses are drawing public attention, especially regarding meat and meat products. Using antimicrobial absorbent pads in packed meat trays and antimicrobial air filters in chicken production may provide an avenue to solve these problems. However, many antimicrobial materials investigated did not provide a significant and rapid antimicrobial action. N-halamines are generally the most effective antimicrobial materials due to their superior antimicrobial efficacy against a broad spectrum of microorganisms, as well as their nontoxicity, stability and rechargeability. In this study, N-halamine coated absorbent pads were applied into food trays loaded with fresh raw chicken and beef meat in order to reduce the foodborne pathogens and spoilage-related bacteria in the food pads and meat. Air filtration materials in chicken houses were also incorporated with N-halamine compound to inactivate the accumulated avian influenza virus on the air filters. Results showed the major spoilage bacteria in the developed absorbent pads loaded with meat were significantly reduced during 11 days of storage, without negatively affecting the quality (color, pH) of the food products. With an in vitro test, 0.05% MC treated cellulose materials of absorbent pads were able to reduce inoculated E. coli O157: H7, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella Typhimurium and Campylobacter jejuni to under the detection limit within the predetermined contact time. In an antiviral test, the aerosolized AI viruses were completely inactivated when they went through the filters coated with the N-halamine compound. In addition, the incorporation process of these materials is simple and straightforward and does not add any significant costs to the price of the pristine materials. These results suggested that this novel approach could be applied in the food and poultry industry to eliminate the multiplying of microorganisms in the packaging systems and the spread of airborne pathogens in the indoor environment, thus reducing the chances of poultry and human diseases.