In some areas of food microbiology, and particularly regarding safety, it has been common practice for many years to make use of predictive mathematical models. For example, since the 1920s, the safe thermal processing of all high water activity, high pH food products has been derived from calculations based on models for the inactivation of microorganisms by heat. The best known example of this is the well-established model of the inactivation of large numbers of spores of proteolytic strains ofClostridium botulinumthat forms the basis of the safe thermal processing of low-acid canned foods. The model is based on data obtained nearly a century ago (Esty & Meyer, 1922). Most of the practically useful models in the past have been inactivation models, e.g., for heat-and irradiation-pasteurization, and for chemical disinfection processes. It is only in the last decade that models have been developed and begun to be used in situations where the growth of microorganisms in foods is concerned. Growth models were developed first in order to improve hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) and risk assessment exercises to help to ensure the safety of foods, and so targeted the major food poisoning microorganisms (Ross & McMeekin, 1994; Elliott, 1996). Now increasing attention is being given to modeling the growth of the most important spoilage microorganisms as well (McMeekin & Ross, 1996).
KeywordsFermented Sausage Food Microbiology Spoilage Microorganism High Water Activity Bacillus Spore
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