Abstract: Caprylic acid (CAA), carvacrol (CAR), ɛ-polylysine (POL), and their combinations were evaluated for reduction of Salmonella contamination in not-ready-to-eat surface-browned, frozen, breaded chicken products. Fresh chicken breast meat pieces (5 × 5 × 5 cm) were inoculated with Salmonella (7-strain mixture; 4–5 log CFU/g) and mixed with distilled water (control) or with CAA, CAR, and POL as single or combination treatments of 2 or 3 ingredients. Sodium chloride (1.2%) and sodium tripolyphosphate (0.3%) were added to all formulations, followed by grinding of the mixtures and forming into 9 × 5 × 3 cm portions. Sample surfaces were brushed with egg whites, coated with breadcrumbs, surface-browned in an oven (208 °C, 15 min), packaged, and stored at –20 °C (7 d). Total reductions of inoculated Salmonella in untreated (control) surface-browned, breaded products after frozen storage were 0.8 to 1.4 log CFU/g. In comparison, single treatments of CAA (0.25% to 1.0%), CAR (0.3% to 0.5%), and POL (0.125% to 1.0%) reduced counts by 2.9 to at least 4.5, 3.4 to at least 4.4, and 1.4 to 2.3 log CFU/g, respectively, depending on concentration. Pathogen counts of products treated with 2- or 3-ingredient combination treatments (0.03125% to 0.25% CAA, 0.0375% to 0.3% CAR, and/or 0.5% POL) were 0.4 to at least 3.3 log CFU/g lower (depending on treatment) than those of the untreated controls. The antimicrobial activity of 2-ingredient combinations comprised of 0.125% CAA, 0.15% CAR, or 0.5% POL was enhanced (P < 0.05) when applied as a 3-ingredient combination (that is, 0.125% CAA + 0.15% CAR + 0.5% POL). These data may be useful for the selection of antimicrobial treatments to reduce Salmonella contamination in not-ready-to-eat processed chicken products.
Practical Application: Findings from the study may be useful for the selection of suitable antimicrobials, concentrations, and combinations to reduce Salmonella contamination in not-ready-to-eat surface-browned, frozen, breaded chicken products.