• predictive microbiology;
  • quasi-chemical model;
  • S. aureus;
  • growth/death kinetics;
  • intermediate moisture bread

ABSTRACT: The “quasi-chemical” kinetics model accounts for all 4 phases of the microbial lifecycle based on a proposed series of chemical rate equations. The model fits continuous growth-death kinetics for Staphylococcus aureus in intermediate moisture bread in various conditions of water activity, pH, and temperature. Growth rates evaluated using the quasi-chemical model are compared with values obtained with the Gompertz model. Kinetics data obtained with the quasi-chemical model are integrated with a probabilistic approach to estimate the boundary between growth and no-growth conditions. Continuous modeling of microbial growth/death kinetics in actual foods advances predictive modeling that conventionally separates growth and death models.