The combined effects of ultrasonication and slight acidic electrolyzed water were investigated to improve the microbial safety of brown rice against Bacillus cereus infection and to evaluate the growth kinetics of these bacteria during storage of untreated and treated rice at various temperatures (5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35°C). The results indicate that this combination treatment was bactericidal against B. cereus, resulting in an approximately 3.29-log reduction. Although B. cereus can be efficiently reduced by treatment, temperature abuse during storage can allow B. cereus to recover and grow. A primary growth model (Baranyi and Roberts equation) was fitted to the raw growth data from untreated (control) and treated samples to estimate growth rate, lag time, and maximum population density, with a low standard error of the residuals (≤0.140) and high adjusted coefficient of determination (>0.990). The growth curves obtained from the Baranyi and Roberts model indicated that B. cereus grew more slowly on treated brown rice than on untreated brown rice. Secondary models predicting the square root of the maximum growth rate and the natural logarithm of the lag time as a function of temperature were satisfactory (bias factor = 0.993 to 1.013; accuracy factor = 1.290 to 1.352; standard error of prediction = 18.828 to 36.615%). Inactivation results and the model developed and validated in this study provided reliable and valuable growth kinetics information for quantitative microbiological risk assessment studies of B. cereus on brown rice.

This content is only available as a PDF.