Achieving a targeted lethality with minimum exposure to heat and preservation of product quality during pasteurization is a challenge. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of nisin and/or lysozyme in combination with in-package pasteurization of a ready-to-eat low-fat turkey bologna on the inactivation of Listeria monocytogenes. Sterile bologna samples were initially treated with solutions of nisin (2 mg/ml = 5,000 AU/ml = 31.25 AU/cm2), lysozyme (10 mg/ml = 80 AU/ml = 0.5 AU/cm2), and a mixture of nisin and lysozyme (2 mg/ml nisin + 10 mg/ml lysozyme = 31.75 AU/cm2). Bologna surfaces were uniformly inoculated with a Listeria suspension resulting in a population of approximately 0.5 log CFU/cm2. Samples were vacuum packaged and subjected to heat treatment (60, 62.5, or 65°C). Two nonlinear models (Weibull and log logistic) were used to analyze the data. From the model parameters, the time needed to achieve a 4-log reduction was calculated. The nisin-lysozyme combination and nisin treatments were effective in reducing the time required for 4-log reductions at 62.5 and 65°C but not at 60°C. At 62.5°C, nisin-lysozyme–treated samples required 23% less time than did the control sample to achieve a 4-log reduction and 31% less time at 65°C. Lysozyme alone did not enhance antilisterial activity with heat. Results from this study can be useful to the industry for developing an efficient intervention strategy against contamination of ready-to-eat meat products by L. monocytogenes.
†Technical contribution no. 5308 of the Clemson University Experiment Station.