Effect of irradiation and chilled storage on the microbiological and sensory quality of a ready meal

NICOLA J. McATEER, IRENE R. GRANT*, MARGARET F. PATTERSON, M. HILARY STEVENSON, S. T.COLIN WEATHERUP

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The sensory and microbiological quality of both non‐irradiated and irradiated cook‐chill ready meals consisting of roast beef and gravy, cauliflower and sauce together with roast and mashed potatoes were assessed at intervals during 15 d storage at 2–3°C. Growth of Pseudomonas spp. caused obvious spoilage of the non‐irradiated meals after storage, whereas spoilage was not apparent in the irradiated meals. Irradiation (2 and 3 kGy) reduced the number of microorganisms in the meal to <100 g−1 initially and significant microbial growth did not occur during storage. Using sensory profiling techniques a trained panel found that the effects of irradiation and chilled storage were most apparent in the cauliflower and potato components and occurred most often in the colour, appearance and textural attributes. The combination of low dose irradiation and chilled storage effectively controlled microbial growth but changes in the sensory characteristics may limit the potential of irradiation to extend the shelf‐life and enhance the safety of this ready meal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757-771
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Food Science & Technology
Volume30
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 1995
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Gamma irradiation
  • principal component analysis
  • roast beef
  • sensory quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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