|Authors: ||A. Jagannath, M.N. Ramesh, M.C. Varadaraj|
|Keywords: ||Pathogen, predictive model, Multivariate analysis, Traditional milk product|
Paneer is a popular heat and acid coagulated Indian milk product analogous to the western cottage cheese.
It is prepared by coagulating milk with citric acid and pressing the resulting curd into cubes.
The product has a shelf life of 6 days at 10°C. The present study evolved a predictive model to assess the fate of Yersinia enterocolitica MTCC 859, a foodborne pathogen of global concern, introduced as a post-processing contaminant in paneer. The experimental design used in this study was a complete 3 x 3 x 3 factorial of initial inoculum (1.3, 2.3 and 3.3 log10 CFU/g), storage temperature (4, 8 and 12°C) and storage period (2, 4 and 6 days). Irrespective of the influencing variables, during storage of paneer, the strain of Y. enterocolitica showed an increase in number from its initial level of contamination.
Polynomial regression equations were used to predict the populations of the pathogen within the experimental domain.
The predicted values showed a good agreement with the experiment values.
The values obtained for the statistical indices like root mean square (RMSE), coefficient of determination (R2), bias and accuracy factors established the adequacy of the derived model to predict the populations of Y. enterocolitica in paneer. Response surface model was generated to predict the behaviour of this pathogen over the range of variables within the experimental domain.
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