Food Spoilage Research Paper

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The tissues of a healthy animal are protected against infection by a combination of physical barriers and the activity of the immune system. Microorganisms inevitably gain access to the meat at slaughter, when the defenses break down and during processing. Consequently, internal organs and muscles from a freshly slaughtered carcass should be relatively free from microorganisms. The reduction of microbial contamination is essential in meat handling systems in order to retard meat spoilage as well as to prevent health hazards that may arise from meat consumption. Bacteria enter meat during the following slaughtering operations: sticking, skinning, scalding, dehairing, evisceration, and splitting and quartering. Additionally, stick-knife, scald…show more content…
Further, the ability of microorganisms to grow or multiply in a food is determined by the food environment as well as the environment in which the food is stored (Ray & Bhunia, 2008). Factors influencing food spoilage can be divided into four groups: intrinsic factors, which are an expression of physical and chemical properties of the foodstuffs themselves; extrinsic factors; processing factors; and implicit factors, which are a reflection of the synergistic or antagonistic effects between…show more content…
These include process and storage conditions (frozen or sterilization temperatures), gaseous environment, such as vacuum packaging with high CO2 and low O2 concentrations, and relative humidity (Lund et al. 2000). The relative humidity and gaseous condition of storage, respectively, influence the aW and Eh of the food (Ray & Bhunia, 2008). Ray & Bhunia (2008) also added that microbial growth is accomplished through enzymatic reactions. It is well known that within a certain range, with every 10oC rise in temperature, the catalytic rate of an enzyme doubles. Similarly, the enzymatic reaction rate is reduced to half by decreasing the temperature by 10oC. This relationship changes beyond the growth range. Because temperature influences enzyme reactions, it has an important role in microbial growth in food.
Processing factors are the parameters during the physical or chemical methods of treating foodstuffs (Lund et al. 2000), such factors include cooking, irradiation, washing, slicing, pasteurization and packaging (Dilbaghi & Sharma, 2007). Implicit factors, on the other hand, can lead to the suppression of some groups or species, by antagonism or competition for nutrients or by chemical modification of the environment (e.g., acidification or oxygen depletion) as emphasized by Lund et al.

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