PhD on growth and thermal inactivation of foodborne pathogens

Xiang Wang, who is affiliated with Laboratory of Food Microbiology and Food Preservation (LFMFP), submitted his PhD. The title of the dissertation is 'Growth and thermal inactivation kinetics of Salmonella enterica and Listeria monocytogenes: from model system to meat and meat products', promotors are Prof. dr. ir. Mieke Uyttendaele, Prof. dr. ir. Frank Devlieghere and Prof. dr. Annemie Geeraerd. The public defence will take place on Wednesday December 21st, 2016.

Abstract of the doctoral research

This PhD study investigated the growth and thermal inactivation of two important foodborne pathogens (Salmonella enterica and Listeria monocytogenes) from model systems to meat and meat products. The performance of time-temperature combinations to inactivate or inhibit growth of S. enterica and L. monocytogenes occasionally present in meat and meat products was investigated. The study started from evaluating the effect of simulated home pan frying of raw meat and meat preparations of different animal species on the thermal inactivation of pathogens. It is found that ground meat was the worst case enabling survival of the highest number of pathogens. Then the growth and inactivation of the two pathogens were assessed in ground pork during simulated home storage abusive temperature and consumer home pan-frying. Next, to improve understanding of observed survival and growth of these two pathogens in the meat, the inactivation and growth kinetics in model systems of these pathogens were determined. Finally, the results obtained in model systems were validated in actual fresh meat (ground pork) and ready-to-eat meat products (cooked ham and cooked sausage).
The study permits to deduce the applicability of the estimations derived from microbial models often established in liquid or solid surrogate media to actual foods. The study also provides quantitative information on the behavior of S. enterica and L. monocytogenes in meat and meat products during reasonably foreseen industrial heat inactivation of meat, storage conditions during distribution and food preparation practices at home or in food service operations and restaurants. The outcomes of the PhD study will be of added value to decision making by food companies and competent authorities on the tolerance of minimal heating processes of meat and meat products and the required stringency of performance objectives to be set on heat treatment processes for ensuring safe meat and meat products.

Brief Curriculum Vitae

Xiang Wang was born on 31st May, 1987 in Lianyungang, China. In 2009 he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology at Nanjing Agricultural University. He conducted his master study in the National center of Meat Quality and Safety Control, Nanjing Agricultural University. After a 3-year study he obtained the master diploma in Food Science and Technology. In 2012 he was granted a scholarship for PhD study abroad from China Scholarship Council (CSC) and started the PhD research at Laboratory of Food Microbiology and Food Preservation, Department of Food safety and Food Quality under the supervision of Prof. dr. ir. Mieke Uyttendaele, Prof. dr. ir.. Frank Devlieghere and Prof. dr. Annemie H. Geeraerd.

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