Investigating the Effects of Functional Ice (FICE) on Food Safety, Shelf-life and Quality of Poultry Thigh Meat During Refrigerated Storage
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
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Food Safety and microbiological spoilage are two major concerns during the extended periods of refrigerated storage and transportation. Antimicrobial interventions applied during the poultry processing may not have a prolonged antimicrobial activity and may fail to control pathogen and spoilage microorganism growth during the refrigerated storage and transportation. Hence, “Functional Ice” (FICE), a novel antimicrobial intervention, is developed to facilitate a “Sustained Release Mechanism” besides the cooling effect of regular ice, thereby improving the food safety and shelf-life of poultry meat. Research was conducted to investigate the effects of FICE, an innovation over the traditionally used regular water on food safety, yield, shelf-life and quality parameters of poultry thigh meat during refrigerated storage. FICE treatments were prepared by freezing aqueous solution of sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP) (2.5% and 5% w/v) and sodium lactate-sodium diacetate (SL-SD) (1% and 2.5% v/v). Ice made from tap water was utilized as a control treatment. In the first part of the study, the different FICE formulations were tested for their antimicrobial efficacy against Salmonella Typhimurium inoculated on thigh meat (n = 375) over a refrigerated storage of 48 h. Results indicated that FICE made of 5% STPP and 2.5% SL-SD lead to a reduction in Salmonella by more than 1 log as compared to the regular ice treatment (p ≤ 0.05) at the end of 48 h storage. Weight pick-up % (yield) was recorded for the uninoculated thigh samples stored in FICE for 48 h and data obtained indicated that FICE with 5% STPP and 2.5% SL-SD lead to an increased yield of 7-8% as compared to regular ice at the end of 48 h of storage. Another part of the study investigated the effects of 48 h FICE (5% STPP and 2.5% SL-SD) and regular ice storage on the subsequent shelf-life and quality attributes (color, texture and cook loss) of tray-packed poultry thigh meat for 8 days. Results indicated that FICE treatments significantly suppressed (p ≤ 0.05) the growth of spoilage microorganisms and extended the shelf-life of tray-packed poultry thigh meat by 1-2 days. Cook loss % of thighs stored in 5% STPP FICE was significantly lower (p ≤ 0.05) than other treatments without affecting the color of poultry meat. These results indicated that FICE has the potential to improve the food safety and shelf-life of poultry meat while maintaining the yields during refrigerated storage.