Modelling viability of Listeria monocytogenes in paneer
Sarkar, D and Ratkowsky, DA and Wang, B and Bowman, JP and Tamplin, ML, Modelling viability of Listeria monocytogenes in paneer, Food Microbiology, 97 Article 10.1016/j.fm.2021.103738. ISSN 0740-0020 (2021) [Refereed Article]
Paneer is a fresh, soft ready-to-eat cheese that is susceptible to Listeria monocytogenes contamination, exemplified by product recalls in Australia, Canada, and the USA. Previous research demonstrates that L. monocytogenes grows in paneer, however there are no paneer-specific predictive models that quantify the effect of environmental conditions on L. monocytogenes viability. This study measured the viability of a five-strain cocktail of L. monocytogenes in freshly prepared paneer incubated at 4–40 °C. Growth rates were fitted with the extended Ratkowsky square root model, with growth rates ranging from 0.014 to 0.352 log10 CFU/h. In comparison with published models, only the ComBase L. monocytogenes broth model acceptably predicted growth (Bf = 1.01, Af = 1.12) versus the developed model. The influence of paneer pH (5.0–6.0) and storage temperature (41–45 °C) on L. monocytogenes growth at the upper temperature growth boundary was described using a logistic model. These models provide quantitative tools to improve the safety of paneer processing conditions, shelf-life estimation, food safety management plans, and risk assessment.