Article

Dynamics of microbial inactivation and acrylamide production in high¿temperature heat treatments

Journal ar
Foods
  • Volumen: 10
  • Número: 11
  • Fecha: 01 November 2021
  • ISSN: 23048158
  • Source Type: Journal
  • DOI: 10.3390/foods10112535
  • Document Type: Article
  • Publisher: MDPI
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.In food processes, optimizing processing parameters is crucial to ensure food safety, max-imize food quality, and minimize the formation of potentially toxigenic compounds. This research focuses on the simultaneous impacts that severe heat treatments applied to food may have on the formation of harmful chemicals and on microbiological safety. The case studies analysed consider the appearance/synthesis of acrylamide after a sterilization heat treatment for two different foods: pureed potato and prune juice, using Geobacillus stearothermophilus as an indicator. It presents two contradictory situations: on the one hand, the application of a high¿temperature treatment to a low acid food with G. stearothermophilus spores causes their inactivation, reaching food safety and stability from a microbiological point of view. On the other hand, high temperatures favour the appearance of acrylamide. In this way, the two objectives (microbiological safety and acrylamide production) are opposed. In this work, we analyse the effects of high¿temperature thermal treatments (isothermal conditions between 120 and 135 °C) in food from two perspectives: microbiological safety/stability and acrylamide production. After analysing both objectives simultaneously, it is concluded that, contrary to what is expected, heat treatments at higher temperatures result in lower acrylamide production for the same level of microbial inactivation. This is due to the different dynamics and sensitivities of the processes at high temperatures. These results, as well as the presented methodology, can be a basis of analysis for decision makers to design heat treatments that ensure food safety while minimizing the amount of acrylamide (or other harmful substances) produced.

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