Types of Microorganisms

The numbers and types of microorganisms present in a food product influence the antimicrobial effect of C02. Microorganisms differ considerably in their sensitivity to C02, and this sensitivity is related to the oxygen requirements of microorganisms (Table 2). It has been shown that C02 is most effective against aerobic spoilage microorganisms. Common aerobic spoilage organisms of meat, fish, and poultry (Pseudomonads, Acinetobacter /Moraxella) are inhibited by low concentrations of C02, a fact that is exploited in the gas packaging of muscle foods. Molds, most of which require oxygen for growth, are similarly inhibited by C02. Several studies have shown that low concentrations of C02 (10%) can be used to suppress mold growth. However, as with bacteria, mold species may vary in their sensitivity to the inhibitory effects of C02.

Table 2. Oxygen Requirements of Typical Food Spoilage Microorganisms

Aerobes

Require

Pseudomonads

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