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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Bacterial Populations of Broiler Chicken Skin Washed in Solutions of Tripotassium Phosphate and Lauric Acid for Various Periods of Time

Authors
item Hinton, Jr, Arthur
item Ingram, Kimberly

Submitted to: Poultry Science Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 18, 2005
Publication Date: July 15, 2005
Citation: Hinton Jr, A., Ingram, K.D. 2005. Bacterial populations of broiler chicken skin washed in solutions of tripotassium phosphate and lauric acid for various periods of time. Poultry Science Meeting.

Interpretive Summary: Processed poultry can be contaminated with bacteria that cause human foodborne diseases and bacteria that cause spoilage of fresh poultry. Although, several chemicals are currently used to reduce the number of bacteria on processed poultry, contaminated poultry continues to be a source of human foodborne diseases. In these experiments, the amount of time required for a solution of tripotassium phosphate (TPP) and lauric acid to reduce the number of bacteria on the skin of processed broiler chickens was determined. Skin samples were washed in the solutions for 0, 30, 60, 90, or 120 sec, and the number of bacteria on the skin was determined. Results indicated that washing the skin for 30 to 60 sec killed bacteria on the skin. Increasing the time that skin was washed in the solution did not result in further decreases in the number of bacterial on the skin. Further studies will be conducted to examine possible uses of these types of solutions in poultry processing operations.

Technical Abstract: Microflora of processed poultry is composed of pathogens that cause human foodborne diseases and spoilage microorganisms that reduce the shelf-life of fresh poultry. Although, several chemicals are currently used to reduce the number of microorganisms on processed poultry, contaminated poultry continues to be a source of human foodborne diseases. Alkali salts of fatty acids have been reported to possess antimicrobial activity that can reduce the number of microorganisms associated with food products. We hypothesize the antibacterial activity of mixtures of tripotassium phosphate (TPP) and lauric acid can reduce the number of bacteria on processed poultry. We have identified the effect of exposure time on the bactericidal activity of solutions of TPP and lauric acid. Our objective was to determine the time required for a solution of TPP and lauric acid to significantly reduce the number of bacteria in the native flora of the skin of processed broiler chickens. Skin samples were washed in solutions containing 3% TPP and 0.5% lauric acid for 0, 30, 60, 90, or 120 sec. Total aerobic bacteria, campylobacter, Enterobacteriaceae, enterococci, lactic acid bacteria, pseudomonads, and staphylococci in the rinsates of washed skin were enumerated. Results indicated that significantly fewer aerobic bacteria, campylobacter, Enterobacteriaceae, enterococci, lactic acid bacteria, and pseudomonads were recovered from skin washed for 30 sec in TPP-lauric acid solutions, and significantly fewer staphylococci were recovered from skin washed for 60 sec in this solution. Increasing the time that skin was washed in the solution did not result in further decreases in the bacterial populations. Findings indicate that a mixture of TPP and fatty acids possesses bactericidal activity against several microorganisms associated with processed poultry. The bacteria are killed within 30 to 60 seconds of exposure to the solution, and extending the exposure time does not increase the antibacterial activity of the mixture.

Last Modified: 10/24/2014
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