Food additive may inhibit C. perfringens in poultry
A new US study claims that inorganic polyphosphates
(polyP) can be effective as antimicrobial agents against Clostridium perfringens
in meat and poultry products.
Inorganic polyphosphates are used as food additives in the meat and poultry
industry to protect flavour, maintain "juiciness", and inhibit rancidity and
C. perfringens are found in low numbers in many foods, particularly in meat
and poultry products, but food poisoning linked to C. perfringens is the 3rd
most commonly reported foodborne illness in the US. Unlike many other types of
bacteria that cause food borne disease, C. perfringens are not completely
destroyed by ordinary cooking as it has been found to produce heat-resistant
Now, researchers from Oregon State University claim a first-time a study
has been done on the antimicrobial properties of polyphosphates against C.
perfringens. They found a significant reduction of survival in C. perfringens
was observed when meat samples contaminated with a cocktail of the bacteria's
spores were treated with one per cent of the polyphosphate, sodium
As STPP increases water retention capacity in meat products, the
researchers used the polyP to determine its antimicrobial effectiveness against
C. perfringens in meat. It was discovered that sub-lethal concentrations of
polyP significantly inhibited sporulation of C. perfringens by reducing
heat-resistant cells. While the spores were able to germinate in the presence of
1% STPP, their outgrowth was significantly inhibited.
"The inhibitory effect of polyP on C. perfringens shown in this work
constitutes a major contribution that can help the development of safer meat
products," said the researchers.
Source: Journal of Food Microbiology
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