Salmonella, a common food pathogen, costs more than any other pathogen in the United States in terms of health care costs and loss of work due to the illnesses it causes. Low-moisture foods, especially flour, are susceptible to being contaminated by Salmonella. Food producers want flour to be pathogen-free but to also retain the same functionality of non-treated flour. Heat treatment is the most common method employed for lowering the concentration of pathogens in food. However, heating can result in the loss of the flour’s functionality. Pantoea dispersa strain JFS has been isolated from flour as a nonpathogenic bacterial surrogate that closely matches the D-value of Salmonella in flour. Flour samples were subjected to dry heat (70, 75, and 80°C) and heat tolerance was determined by plating out at least four different time points for each temperature. The death rate of P. dispersa strain JFS was similar to (p<0.05) Salmonella. This strain of P. dispersa was then used as a surrogate for Salmonella in a continuous and batch heat treatment processes to determine the amount of kill achieved by each. The continuous process was conducted using varying levels of four independent variables: temperature, residence time, use of steam, and manipulation of initial water content. All 15 runs resulted in a reduction of at least 1.5 logs of the surrogate, with the greatest reduction being 2.5 logs. The batch process was conducted using one independent variable, temperature. All runs for the batch process resulted in a reduction of at least 2.5 logs of the surrogate, with the greatest reduction being 4.3 logs at 170°F. Both processes could be used to reduce any Salmonella present in flour.



College and Department

Life Sciences; Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Science



Date Submitted


Document Type





Salmonella, Pantoea dispersa, flour, thermal processing, continuous process, batch process



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Nutrition Commons