Effect of antimicrobial agents on physical, chemical and microbiological characteristics of ready-to-eat bologna
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Quality and safety of ready-to-eat meat products can be altered by antimicrobial agents such as lactates and diacetates. This project evaluated the effect of Ional (1.5%, 2.5%, 3.5%), Ional LC (1.5%, 2.5%, 3.5%) and Optiform SD4 (2.5%) compared to a control on selected physical, chemical and microbiological characteristics of ready-to-eat vacuum-packaged bologna slices stored less at than 40C for up to 112 days of retail display. Water activity (aw), expressible moisture (WHC), pH, fat and moisture content, cooking yield, texture profile analysis, puncture test, Hunter color values, total aerobic plate count (PCA), yeast and mold count (YM), and lactobacilli count (MRS) were evaluated. WHC, pH and texture profile parameters were significantly different (P[lesser than]0.05) between treatments. Bologna formulated with Optiform SD4 (2.5%) had the highest springiness and hardness values after control and it had highest puncture value. Water activity was not significantly different (P[greater than]0.05) between treatments. Furthermore, day of display had no significant affect on aw L value was significantly different for treatments, but Hunter a and b values were not.