Implications of salt and sodium reduction on microbial food safety.
ABSTRACT Excess sodium consumption has been cited as a primary cause of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. Salt (sodium chloride) is considered the main source of sodium in the human diet, and it is estimated that processed foods and restaurant foods contribute 80% of the daily intake of sodium in most of the Western world. However, ample research demonstrates the efficacy of sodium chloride against pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms in a variety of food systems. Notable examples of the utility and necessity of sodium chloride include the inhibition of growth and toxin production by Clostridium botulinum in processed meats and cheeses. Other sodium salts contributing to the overall sodium consumption are also very important in the prevention of spoilage and/or growth of microorganisms in foods. For example, sodium lactate and sodium diacetate are widely used in conjunction with sodium chloride to prevent the growth of Listeria monocytogenes and lactic acid bacteria in ready-to-eat meats. These and other examples underscore the necessity of sodium salts, particularly sodium chloride, for the production of safe, wholesome foods. Key literature on the antimicrobial properties of sodium chloride in foods is reviewed here to address the impact of salt and sodium reduction or replacement on microbiological food safety and quality.
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ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to assess the influence of sodium content on the microbiota on the surface of ready-to-eat (RTE) meat products purchased from the retail market in Canada. Products, including sliced and sausage-type deli meats, were analysed with culture-dependent and culture-independent methods. Bacteria were identified from 23 brands of products from different meat processors with claims of sodium content ranging from 390 to 1200 mg per 100 g of product. Out of 150 bacterial isolates, the most common were identified as Leuconostoc gelidum, Carnobacterium maltaromaticum, Brochothrix thermosphacta, and Leuconostoc gasicomitatum. Vacuum-packaged RTE deli sliced meat products had the largest population of bacteria. Leuconostocci were the most common isolates in this group of products, while carnobacteria were prevalent on products with moderate loads of bacteria. A higher incidence of carnobacteria and lower incidence of B. thermosphacta were detected on sodium-reduced products. Simpson's and Shannon-Wiener indices showed that low sodium products (25%-50% less sodium) had an overall higher bacterial diversity. This was also observed when individual low sodium products were compared with their regular sodium counterpart.Canadian Journal of Microbiology 11/2014; 61(2):1-5. DOI:10.1139/cjm-2014-0630 · 1.18 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The benefits of high pressure processing (HPP) for microbial inactivation in food production include reduced thermal treatment and minimized effects on sensory and nutritional profiles. These benefits have resulted in increasing commercial production of high pressure pasteurized foods. In this review, the current state of the art in terms of vegetative cell and bacterial spore inactivation by HPP in complex food matrices is assessed with an emphasis on mechanisms of inactivation and treatment of products that have low or non-uniform water activity (aw) profiles. Low aw can be the result of a high concentration in solutes, the presence of oils/fats, or the physical removal of water through dehydration. Microbial inactivation in low aw environments remains a particular challenge for HPP and studies on microbial inactivation observed in the different types of low aw food matrices are reviewed in detail.Innovative Food Science & Emerging Technologies 02/2015; 27:1-14. DOI:10.1016/j.ifset.2014.10.015 · 2.25 Impact Factor
Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 08/2013; 31(1):129-136. DOI:10.1016/j.jfca.2013.04.004 · 2.26 Impact Factor