Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences


Daren P Cornforth


Milk mineral (MM) is a type II antioxidant (metal chelator) that can bind iron and prevent iron catalysis of lipid oxidation. Thus, MM might have microbial growth inhibition effects on iron-dependent bacteria. Objective 1 was to evaluate effects of MM on growth of non-pathogenic iron-dependent bacterial strains (Listeria innocua, Eschericia coli, Pseudomonas fluorescens). MM (1.5 % w/v) did not significantly inhibit growth of Listeria and E. coli. However, growth of Pseudomonas fluorescens was consistently and significantly reduced by ~1 log colony forming units per ml (CFU/ml) with all levels of MM (0.5, 0.75, 1.5 % w/v). All levels of MM also had no growth inhibition effects against the mixed microflora of fresh ground beef during storage for up to 10 days at 2°C. In conclusion, MM had little or no effect to inhibit microbial growth. The strong affinity of MM to ionic iron inhibits lipid oxidation, but does not inhibit bacterial growth supported by other forms of iron (heme or amino acid + iron complexes).

Several studies report that MM has greater antioxidant effect than sodium tripolyphosphate (STP) in ground meats, especially at longer storage time. Objective 2 was to compare stability of MM and STP in ground beef patties by monitoring the decomposition to soluble orthophosphates (Pi). Patties (control) and patties with 0.75 % MM or 0.5 % STP were stored at 2 or 22°C for 0, 1, or 2 days. CFU/g and Pi were measured. As expected, CFU/g at 22°C was much higher than treatment at 2°C. Pi levels at 2°C were lower (P < 0.05) than at 22°C. At day 0, for both temperatures, patties formulated with MM had the highest Pi levels. However, after 2 days storage, samples with added STP had the highest level of Pi, followed by MM and control. Thus, decomposition as measured by release of Pi was significantly higher for STP than for MM added to beef patties. There was a significant positive correlation (0.77) between CFU/g and Pi during storage of beef patties for 2 days at 22°C. In conclusion, increased Pi during storage of beef patties was at least partially due to bacterial phosphatases. A third experiment was conducted to examine the stability of 0.75 % MM or 0.5 % STP added to growing cultures of Pseudomonas fluorescens at 2°C or 22°C for 0, 1, and 2 days. Neither MM nor STP was stable in autoclaved media (Pi increased significantly). The factors responsible for decomposition of MM or STP in autoclaved media remain to be determined.