Performance specification of time-temperature integrators designed to protect against botulism in refrigerated fresh foods

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Time-temperature integrators (TTIs) may provide a means to monitor safety of fresh foods packaged in reduced-oxygen environments. Commercially, TTI's have not been fully realized, possibly due to confusion over selection, performance, and reliability. The purpose of this work was to develop a framework for establishing performance targets for TTI's with foods that have potential to cause foodborne botulism. An Arrhenius-type curve was developed that offers safety margins that satisfy regulatory and shelf life requirements. TTI's developed as specified should minimize "false unsafe" readings that lead to destruction of safe product. The approach could be used to establishing guidelines for application of TTI's to food safety verification.

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Journal of Food Science

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