This study was carried out to isolate pressure- and heat-resistant indicator spores from selected food matrices (black pepper, red pepper, garlic, and potato peel). Food samples were processed under various thermal (90 to 105°C) and pressure (700 MPa) combination conditions, and surviving microorganisms were isolated. An isolate from red pepper powder, Bacillus licheniformis, was highly resistant to pressure-thermal treatments. Spores of the isolate in deionized water were subjected to the combination treatments of pressure (0.1 to 700 MPa) and heat (90 to 121°C). Compared with the thermal treatment, the combined pressure-thermal treatments considerably reduced the numbers of B. licheniformis spores to less than 1.0 log CFU/g at 700 MPa plus 105°C and at 300 to 700 MPa plus 121°C. The inactivation kinetic parameters of the isolated B. licheniformis spores were estimated using linear and nonlinear models. Within the range of the experimental conditions tested, the pressure sensitivity (zP) of the spores decreased with increasing temperature (up to 121°C), and the temperature sensitivity (zT) was maximum at atmospheric pressure (0.1 MPa). These results will be useful for developing a combined pressure-thermal inactivation kinetics database for various bacterial spores.

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