Evaluation of sodium benzoate and licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) root extract as heat-sensitizing additives againstEscherichia coliO157:H7 in mildly heated young coconut liquid endosperm

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This study evaluated the use of sodium benzoate (SB) and licorice root extract (LRE) as heat-sensitizing additives against Escherichia coli O157:H7 in mildly heated young coconut liquid endosperm. Consumer acceptance scoring showed that maximum permissible supplementation (MPS) levels for SB and LRE were at 300 and 250 ppm, respectively. The MPS values were considered in the generation of a 2-factor rotatable central composite design for the tested SB and LRE concentration combinations. Liquid endosperm with various SB and LRE supplementation combinations was inoculated with E. coli O157:H7 and heated to 55°C. The susceptibility of the cells towards heating was expressed in terms of the decimal reduction time (D55). Response surface analysis showed that only the individual linear effect of benzoate significantly influenced D55 value, where increasing supplementation level resulted in increasing susceptibility. The results reported could serve as baseline information in further investigating other additives that could be used as heat-sensitizing agents against pathogens in heat-labile food systems.Significance and Impact of the Study: Fruit juice products have been linked to outbreaks of microbial infection, where unpasteurized products were proven vectors of diseases. Processors often opt not to apply heat process to juice products as the preservation technique often compromises the sensorial quality. This work evaluated two common additives for their heat-sensitizing effects against E. coli O157:H7 in coconut liquid endosperm, the results of which may serve as baseline information to small- and medium-scale processors, and researchers in the establishment of mild heat process schedule for the test commodity and other similar products.

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