Effect of meat ingredients (sodium nitrite and erythorbate) and processing (vacuum storage and packaging atmosphere) on germination and outgrowth of Clostridium perfringens spores in ham during abusive cooling

Mauricio Redondo-Solano, Carol Valenzuela-Martinez, David A. Cassada, Daniel D. Snow, Vijay K. Juneja, Dennis E. Burson, Harshavardhan Thippareddi

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The effect of nitrite and erythorbate on Clostridium perfringens spore germination and outgrowth in ham during abusive cooling (15 h) was evaluated. Ham was formulated with ground pork, NaNO2 (0, 50, 100, 150 or 200 ppm) and sodium erythorbate (0 or 547 ppm). Ten grams of meat (stored at 5 °C for 3 or 24 h after preparation) were transferred to a vacuum bag and inoculated with a three-strain C. perfringens spore cocktail to obtain an inoculum of ca. 2.5 log spores/g. The bags were vacuum-sealed, and the meat was heat treated (75 °C, 20 min) and cooled within 15 h from 54.4 to 7.2 °C. Residual nitrite was determined before and after heat treatment using ion chromatography with colorimetric detection. Cooling of ham (control) stored for 3 and 24 h, resulted in C. perfringens population increases of 1.46 and 4.20 log CFU/g, respectively. For samples that contained low NaNO2 concentrations and were stored for 3 h, C. perfringens populations of 5.22 and 2.83 log CFU/g were observed with or without sodium erythorbate, respectively. Residual nitrite was stable (p > 0.05) for both storage times. Meat processing ingredients (sodium nitrite and sodium erythorbate) and their concentrations, and storage time subsequent to preparation of meat (oxygen content) affect C. perfringens spore germination and outgrowth during abusive cooling of ham.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-115
Number of pages8
JournalFood Microbiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013



  • Clostridium perfringens
  • Oxygen
  • Residual nitrite
  • Sodium erythorbate
  • Sodium nitrite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Microbiology

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