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Keywords:

  • Brine;
  • design of experiments;
  • Enterobacter cloacae ;
  • polynomial equation;
  • response surface methodology

Summary

The main goal of this research was the evaluation of the survival of Enterobacter cloacae in a model olive brine. Two different assays were run; the first experiment assessed the viability of the target in brines containing NaCl (6–12%) and p-coumaric acid (0.0–0.05%), adjusted to different pHs (4–10) and stored at 10–30 °C for 9 days. The death rate and cell levels at selected times were modelled with a polynomial equation to highlight the individual and interactive effects of NaCl/p-coumaric acid/pH/temperature. Then, a second experiment was run for 3 months (temperature, 10 °C; pH, 4.5–5.5; NaCl, 6–8%). The survival of E. cloacae was affected mainly by pH, then by salt and temperature; however, the significance of the variables changed within the time, as salt and temperature acted in a significant way only after 1 day.