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Tsai, Shawn
Tikekar, Rohan V.
This dissertation explores the growth and inactivation of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica Serovar Typhimurium in oil-in-water emulsion systems, with a particular focus on the effects of emulsifier type, oil fraction, temperature, molecular weight, and surface charge. First, investigation was conducted on the effects of emulsifier type (Tween 20, Tween 80, Triton X-100) and oil content (20%, 40%, 60%) on growth and thermal inactivation of S. Typhimurium in emulsions. The results indicated that while emulsifiers did not affect the bacterial growth rate or lag phase, the presence of high oil content (60%) prolonged the lag phase in emulsions. In addition, Tween 80 and Triton X-100 emulsifier solutions exhibited protective effects against thermal inactivation. Next chapter was focused on evaluating the impact of temperature on growth (7, 22, 37°C) and inactivation (55, 58, 60°C) kinetics of S. Typhimurium in emulsion systems with same emulsifier and oil fraction as previous chapter. The results indicated that temperature had a significant impact on bacterial kinetics, with increasing temperatures leading to faster growth and inactivation rates. Next, the effect of emulsifier molecular weight and surface charge on the growth and thermal inactivation of S. Typhimurium in emulsions was examined. To control the molecular weight with similar structure, whey protein was selected for experimentation. By adjusting the pH, it was possible to change the surface charge in whey protein. Results indicated that whey protein hydrolysate (WPH) with a lower molecular weight did not exhibit a lag phase in Salmonella growth. However, whey protein isolate (WPI) with higher molecular weight demonstrated no difference in the lag phase when compared to bacterial growth in TSB. Similar effects were observed with a positively charged emulsifier (WPI+). The findings suggest that the molecular weight of emulsifiers has a more significant impact on bacterial growth than their surface charge. Regarding the evaluation of inactivation, emulsifier solutions exhibited no significant difference compared to TSB, while emulsions stabilized by WPH and WPI+ showed some protective effects on S. Typhimurium. This observation can be attributed to the ability of positively charged emulsifiers to interact with the bacterial membrane, providing protective effects during thermal treatment. Lastly, to gain a comprehensive understanding of the mechanism concerned with the impact of emulsifier and oil inclusion on bacterial growth and inactivation behavior, S. Typhimurium was cultured in different emulsion-related environments and evaluated for nine stress-related genes (rpoE, rpoH, otsB, proV, fadA, fabA, dnaK, ibpA, ompC) after 20 hours of incubation at 37°C and after thermal treatment at 55°C for 45 min. It was found that ibpA was upregulated in all emulsifier environments, regardless of the presence of oil, indicating that IbpA was synthesized in emulsifier environments. Moreover, increased expression of fabA was also observed in Triton X-100 stabilized 60% emulsion, indicating poor heat resistance due to increased membrane fluidity. In the combination of gene expression data, our results showed that emulsifier solutions without oil exhibited a greater number of regulatory mechanisms compared to those containing oil, indicating that the presence of oil did not provide as much protection after thermal treatment. Based on these findings, the stress-related mechanism was constructed by the expression of those selected genes. Overall, this dissertation provides valuable insights into the factors influencing bacterial growth and inactivation in oil-in-water emulsion systems, as well as bacterial stress response in these systems. These findings provide important insights into the growth and inactivation behavior of S. Typhimurium in oil-in-water emulsion systems and the stress response mechanisms involved. Understanding these factors is crucial for developing effective control measures to ensure food safety and prevent foodborne illness outbreaks caused by this pathogen. This information can be used to optimize the formulation and processing of emulsion-based food products to minimize the risk of bacterial contamination and ensure their safety for consumption.