Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences


Conly Hansen


High-pressure needleless injection (HPNI) is a process where small-diameter, high-velocity burst of liquid, penetrate foods at pressures ≤ 10,000 psi. The potential of HPNI as an enhancing technique for meat was studied. In study 1, HPNI translocated surface E. coli O157 into the interior of beef eye-of-round subprimals with an incidence of 40 (±7), 25 (±8), and 25 (±8)% for meat that had been surface-inoculated with a four-strain cocktail at 0.5, 1, and 2 log10 CFU/cm2, respectively. Run-off water contained 2, 2, and 3 log10 CFU/ml and was used for HPNI of additional subprimals, which resulted in a cross-contamination incidence of 83 (±4), 60 (±15), and 37 (±6) %, respectively. Incidence of translocation and cross-contamination was similar at all sampled levels below the inoculated surface. Study 1 results indicate that surface microflora will be translocated from the surface into the interior of HPNI-treated beef by the injection fluid and by cross-contamination with recycled fluid.

In study 2, E. coli was undetected in cooked steaks (63˚C internal) cut from subprimals inoculated with 2 log10 CFU/cm2 and HPNI processed (study 1). Although cooking reduced E. coli counts, determination of complete kill was not possible because the detection limit for bacterial recovery was about 1 log10 CFU/g. Steaks cut from HPNI-processed subprimals took longer (p <0.05) to reach 63˚C with grilling or broiling, compared to control steaks, possibly due to increased moisture in enhanced steaks.

In study 3, sensory acceptance of steaks was evaluated by a consumer panel. Appearance, flavor, and overall acceptance were similar among the untreated control, HPNI steaks, blade tenderized steaks (BT steaks), and steaks cut from subprimals that had been needle-injected with 0.35% (wt/vol) sodium tripolyphosphate using needle injection (NI-subprimal steaks) or HPNI (HPNI-subprimal steaks). Texture of BT steaks (6.5±1.9) was more liked than control steaks (5.8±1.8), while texture was similar for all other comparisons. Conversely, Warner-Bratzler shear force was NI-subprimal steaks < control < HPNI steaks = HPNI-subprimal steaks = BT steaks. Lack of correspondence between texture acceptance data and WBSF suggests that sensory scores were influenced by factors other than the force required for mechanical shear.


This work was made publicly available electronically on September 30, 2011.