Beef primals and subprimals were subjected to spray treatment with ozonated water (1 ppm dissolved O3 at 10 pound per square inch (PSI) pressure or less, with a time of contact of approximately 10 seconds). Enumeration of total aerobic bacteria population revealed mean surface reduction of 2.26 log10CFU/100 cm2 for the antimicrobial intervention. Also, this treatment reduced the total coliforms by 2.31 log10CFU100 cm2 and the Enterobacteriaccae counts by 2.56 log10CFU/100 cm2. This data indicate that ozonated water treatment of beef primal and sub primal cuts applied before mechanical tenderization or moister enhancement can significantly and effectively reduce the surface microbial contamination on these beef cuts.
There is a growing need in the food industry for a better means of killing food-borne pathogens. The meat industry, being more at risk to food contamination at different stages of its production, is in need of improved antimicrobial process. Countries in Europe and Japan have effectively used ozone in the food industry for decades. Due to its success, the US food industry is beginning to implement ozone as a decontaminate.
Wolverine Packing Co., a steak fabrication plant in Detroit, MI set up an experimental design to evaluate the use of ozone. Ozonated water of 1 ppm was applied to beef before mechanical tenderization or moisture enhancement. Ozone was constantly sprayed on the beef as it passed on a conveyor belt so that each piece would receive approximately 10 seconds of sprayed ozone. The ozone generator distributed water at a flow rate of 3.3 GPM, and ozone output range of 2.5 g/h. The pressure of the sprayed ozone was set at 10 PIS or less.
Ozone was found effective in significantly reducing aerobic plate count (APC), total coliforms (TCC) and Tentrebacteriacede (EBC) in the meat. Reducing these bacterias will result in safer and higher quality meat. In addition, because ozone does not require transportation to the plant, storage and transportation costs will be reduced and result in elimination of many hazardous chemicals at the plant.
Cristina M. Rau, Steven Kakish and Alden M. Booren
Wolverine Packing Co., Detroi, MI 48207
Meat Science Department, Michigan State University, East Lansint, MI 48824