ABSTRACT

Contaminated poultry meat is a major source of human foodborne illnesses. Many interventions have been developed to reduce and/or eliminate human foodborne pathogens in poultry products; however, treatments with cold plasma or carnosine or their combination have not been extensively investigated. In this study, the bacterial microflora of poultry meat samples after treatments with cold plasma and carnosine were characterized with EcoPlates in the OmniLog system. The plates were incubated at 25°C for 7 days in the OmniLog chamber, and bacterial growth was monitored by recording formazan production every 30 min at an optical density of 590 nm. The kinetics of lag, log, and stationary phases of bacterial growth followed the Gompertz sigmoidal model but with different inflection times and asymptotes at the log phase and the stationary phase, respectively. Results indicated that treatment of poultry meat samples with cold plasma technology and carnosine could inhibit growth of the bacteria in the treated meat samples. Of 31 chemicals tested, phenylethylamine, α-d-lactose, d,l-α-glycerol phosphate, 2-hydroxybenzoic acid, γ-hydroxybutyric acid, α-ketobutyric acid, and d-malic acid could not be metabolized by bacteria in the meat samples. Future research is required to determine whether these seven chemicals that inhibited growth of bacteria in these meat samples can be used as food preservatives for extending the shelf life of these products. Whether the bacterial flora can be an indicator of effectiveness for meat samples treated with cold plasma, carnosine, or both needs further study.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Bacteria in broiler meat were assessed with EcoPlates for utilization of single carbon sources.

  • The kinetics of bacterial growth followed the Gompertz sigmoidal model.

  • Cold plasma technology and carnosine could inhibit bacterial growth in meat samples.

  • Seven chemicals in meat samples could not be used by bacteria as a carbon source.

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