Ready‐to‐eat (RTE) cured vacuum‐packed turkey breast was pasteurized (80°C, 5.5 min) and stored at 8°C (like supermarkets refrigerator temperature). After 42 days (current shelf life of this product), in control group (RTE cured vacuum‐packed turkey breast), the number of mesophilic, anaerobic, lactic acid bacteria, mold and yeast, coliform, and psychrotrophic increased 5.82, 6.85, 5.85, 4.75, 1.49, and 5.57 log CFU/g, respectively. However, in the pasteurized samples, the number of mesophilic, anaerobic, and lactic acid bacteria increased 1.86, 2.12, and 2.28 log CFU/g, respectively, and mold and yeast, coliform, and psychrotrophic bacteria were under the detection limit. The effects of post‐packaging pasteurization on the reduction of total mesophilic, anaerobic and lactic acid bacteria counts on Day 42 of storage was 7.04 ± 0.33, 4.73 ± 0.11, and 5.58 ± 0.11 log CFU/g, respectively. Sensory quality of treated samples was significantly better than the control’s (p < .05). Post‐packaging pasteurization (PPP) significantly inhibited the reduction in the pH and the increase in TVB‐N, TBARS, titratable acidity, and drip loss (p < .05). This study shows the effectiveness of PPP on microbial, chemical, and sensory quality of cured vacuum‐packed turkey breast during cold storage.
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