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NewTecMeat: emerging non-thermal technologies applied pre- and post-packaging to extend the shelf life of vacuum-packed beef during storage

Grant number: 20/14631-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2021
Effective date (End): March 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Collective Health - Public Health
Principal researcher:Anderson de Souza Sant'Ana
Grantee:Larissa Pereira Margalho
Home Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia de Alimentos (FEA). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The accelerated deterioration of vacuum-packed beef is one of the main problems that prevent a further increase in the consumption and commercialization of Brazilian beef in the country and abroad. Considering the importance of Brazil in the world scenario of production and commercialization in the meat segment, the need to study and develop alternative strategies that guarantee the reduction of losses associated with microbial deterioration is evident. The use of emerging technologies has been widely used in this sense, aiming to meet consumer demand for safer products, with better quality and with more environmentally friendly processes. Emerging non-thermal technologies for microbial inactivation already have applications in the meat industry, where the following stand out: the application of ozone gas, ozonized water, cold plasma, high pressure, pulsed light, ultrasound, among others. These technologies have great advantages, however, in order to be able to apply them in industrial plants, it is necessary to prove their effectiveness at the laboratory level first and then promote a scale-up planning. Thus, this project aims to study the application of ozonized water in the washing and cooling stage of beef carcasses in the processing of vacuum-packed meat, and the application of ultrasound and cold plasma in the post-packaging stage, using an approach of hurdle technology. Different pieces of meat will be considered (with specific pH values, depending on the type of beef cut), and an experimental planning will be outlined in order to determine the ideal process parameters that promote a greater reduction in the microorganism counts in the final product. Predictive microbiology studies will be carried out in order to verify the impact of these technologies on the quality of the final product, aiming at extending the shelf life, as an alternative method to conventional ones. Analyzes of microbial ecology using high-generation sequencing will also be carried out throughout the shelf life, in order to obtain an in-depth study of the microbiota present and its changes over time in response to the treatments applied. This project will count on the participation of large industries and aims to strengthen the ties between the University and the Industries, in order to obtain results with greater impact on public health. (AU)

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