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Effect of storage temperature on microbiological quality and shelf-life of ready to use salads

, : Effect of storage temperature on microbiological quality and shelf-life of ready to use salads. Annals of Microbiology 51(1): 39-52

Shelf-life of three different ready to use vegetables: cut cicorino (Chicorium intybus), lettuce leaves and grated carrots, is described, studying the kinetic evolution of chemico-physical (colour, turbidity, pH variation and flow heat) and microbiological indices. Functions used to describe the kinetic evolution of all indices showed a characteristic simultaneity of events and allowed to establish for each one, a stability time or an acceptability range time. Tests on storage temperature (5, 10 and 20 degreeC) were also performed and the influence of this parameter on the kinetics of microbial growth was satisfactory described by a Gompertz type function. Degradative kinetics of microbial index is more strongly influenced from the temperature than the chemical one. These differences are evident, comparing the values of Q10 for the three vegetables analysed. The stability time and Q10 determined allowed a predictive microbiological approach of shelf-life and to take care of time-temperature history in commercial chain showed to be indispensable to obtain a product of quality.


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