Thermal inactivation of Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris spores under conditions simulating industrial heating processes of tangerine vesicles and its use in time temperature integrators
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- López, MD., García, P., Muñoz-Cuevas, M. et al. Eur Food Res Technol (2011) 232: 821. doi:10.1007/s00217-011-1449-1
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The aim of the present study was to characterize the thermal inactivation of Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris spores under isothermal and non-isothermal conditions simulating industrial heating processes applied to tangerine vesicles. A microbiological time temperature integrator (TTI) suitable for estimating the severity of thermal processes applied to acid foods was also developed. The heat resistance of A. acidoterrestris was characterized by D105 °C = 0.63 min and z = 10.8 °C in tangerine juice, showing linear survival curves, without shoulders and tails. Under non-isothermal conditions, the use of isothermal data allowed for an accurate prediction of the inactivation. The spores were included in alginate TTIs and they were used to estimate the severity of thermal treatments applied both in a thermoresistometer Mastia and in a food pilot plant scale system, which allows fast heating of the product to 93 °C and then a short holding time (2 min). In the thermoresistometer, tangerine juice was used as heating medium. In the food pilot plant scale system, thermal treatments were applied in batch to unpackaged tangerine vesicles. In both equipments, the TTIs accurately predicted the lethality of the thermal treatments applied. The percent coefficients of variation for survivor counting in TTIs showed that distribution of heat is homogeneous both in the thermoresistometer and in the reactor, being lower than 10% in all cases. The logistic and normal distributions were found to be the best for fitting the different survivor datasets.