Postpasteurization addition of CO2 inhibits growth of certain microorganisms in dairy products, but few workers have investigated the effect of CO2 on the thermal inactivation of microorganisms during pasteurization. Concentrations of CO2 ranging from 44 to 58 mM added to raw whole milk significantly (P < 0.05) reduced the number of surviving standard plate count (SPC) organisms in milk heated over the range of 67 to 93°C. A decrease in thermal survival rates (D-values) for Pseudomonas fluorescens R1–232 and Bacillus cereus ATCC 14579 spores in milk was positively correlated with CO2 concentrations (1 to 36 mM). D50°C-values for P. fluorescens significantly decreased (P < 0.05) in a linear fashion from 14.4 to 7.2 min. D89°C-values for B. cereus spores were significantly (P < 0.05) decreased from 5.56 min in control milk to 5.29 min in milk containing 33 mM CO2. The Weibull function was used as a model to describe the thermal inactivation of P. fluorescens, B. cereus spores, and SPC organisms in raw milk. Nonlinear parameters for the Weibull function were estimated, and survival data fitted to this model had higher R2 values than when fitted to the linear model, further providing support that the thermal inactivation of bacteria does not always follow first-order reaction rate kinetics. These results suggest that CO2 could be used as a processing aid to enhance microbial inactivation during pasteurization.

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