Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the antimicrobial effects of MC-treated absorbent pads in beef during the refrigerated storage.
Methods: Beef was packed with treated absorbent pads, preserved aerobically under refrigeration (4 ± 0.2°C) for 11 days. Microbial loads in absorbent pads and meat samples were analyzed on day 0 (three hours after packing), 1, 4, 7 and 11, by serial dilutions and plating on selective medial agars. Differences between treatments were analyzed with ANOVA Tukey test.
Results: Cellulose materials treated with MC reduced the levels of total aerobic bacteria, Pseudomonas spp., and lactic acid bacteria in absorbent pads to under the detection limit in the first days. During the rest days of storage, the microbial loads were statistically significant reduced (p< 0.05) in all MC treated absorbent pads. Meanwhile, microbial loads in meat samples also lowered remarkably on day 11 in the MC treated groups. The levels of Enterobacteriaceaefrom the treated samples remained under the detection limit during the entire storage period.
Significance: MC treated absorbent pads were able to reduce microbial loads in refrigerated beef, and thus have the potential to extend the shelf life of food products.