The bacteriology, organoleptic quality and shelf-life extension of radurized beef cuts were investigated. Application of doses of 2 kGy to vacuum-packed meat caused a considerable change in the bacterial population by elimination of the pseudomonads, Enterobacteriaceae and enterococci. The LLP group of lactic acid bacteria was relatively resistant to radiation, and after radurization was mostly comprised of Lactobacillus species. The lactobacilli multiplied rapidly on the meat during storage at 4 C, and reached relatively high numbers toward the end of the storage period. Odor and appearance evaluations were carried out at regular intervals and were used together with organoleptic testing and bacteriological analyses to determine the shelf-life extension of radurized beef cuts. A doubling in the shelf-life of samples irradiated to 2 kGy was attained when compared to non-irradiated (control) samples.

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Author notes

1Atomic Energy Board.

2University of Pretoria.