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Microwave thermal treatment for an ostrich meat ready-to-serve dinner

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2010 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 20 - June 23, 2010  1009949.(doi:10.13031/2013.30020)
Authors:   Maria Elena Sosa-Morales, Michelle Méndez-Obregón, Aurelio López-Malo
Keywords:   Ostrich meat, Microwave treatments, ready-to-serve dinner.

Many studies have validated the application of microwaves (MW) as a possible thermal treatment, which can inactivate deteriorative or pathogenic microorganisms. The main objective of this study was to apply a MW treatment to an ostrich meat dinner (ready-to-serve) that becomes a safe and acceptable product for the consumer. Raw ostrich meat (73.7% moisture content, 18% protein content and 0.7% fat content) was marinated for 3 h at 4C, then cooked in a pressured pot for 5 min. Microwaveable trays (11 oz) were filled with 100 g of cooked meat, 80 g of BBQ sausage and 100g of frozen vegetables in order to get the whole ready-to-serve dinner. A 2450 MHz MW oven (1200 W) was used. The prepared trays were thermal treated at two different powers (60% and 100%) to reach 72C. Temperature was followed with optical fiber sensors. Time required to reach the target temperature was longer for the 60% power (more than 3 min) than that obtained when 100% of power was employed, being only of 85 s. A pasteurization protocol was established as: 1) meat cooking and preparation of trays, 2) thermal treatment with MW (100% of power for 85 s), 3) holding time at 72C for 15 s, and 4) cooling in water at 4 C for 16 min. Trays were stored at 4C for three weeks; color, hardness and microbiology counts were measured every week.

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