The effects of an ultrasonic humidification system on unwrapped meat in a chilled retail display cabinet were assessed. Humidification raised the relative humidity of the cabinet air from a mean of 76.7% to just below saturation at 98.8%. This reduced the mean evaporative weight loss from whole samples of meat after 14 h from 1.68% to 0.62% of their initial weight. The rate of deterioration in the appearance of the meat due to dehydration was reduced to the extent that while the unhumidified trial was terminated after 14 h because all samples were judged to be unacceptable, the humidified trial was continued for 24 h without any major changes in appearance. Levels of presumptive pseudomonas bacteria were relatively high in water samples taken from the humidification system and defrost water during the humidified trial, but Legionella spp. were not isolated. Significant increases in the numbers of bacteria on the meat during either trial were only found in one case, that of humidified minced beef. However, some of the samples had high counts even before display, and this may have masked any effect due to humidification. Differences in levels of air-borne contamination were small and inconsistent. Air temperatures were raised by humidification by between 1 and 2 °C and this was reflected in similarly raised product temperatures. Temperatures of air leaving the evaporator indicated that this was due to icing of the evaporator in the periods leading up to defrosts.
|Translated title of the contribution||Humidification of unwrapped chilled meat on retail display using an ultrasonic fogging system|
|Pages (from-to)||670 - 677|
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2007|