Integrated System for Surface Pasteurization of Food

Period of Performance: 01/01/2005 - 12/31/2005


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Alkar-RapidPak, Inc.
932 Development Drive
Lodi, WI 53555
Principal Investigator


Ready-to-eat meat or poultry products that undergo further handling after cooking (e.g. peeling or slicing) show the highest prevalence of Listeria monocytogenes (one to ten percent). Though rare, listeriosis is responsible for 20 to 30 percent of foodborne disease-related deaths. Therefore, the industry has adopted, among other methods, post-packaging pasteurization to control Listeria monocytogenes on the products' surfaces. However, in-package heat treatments may require up to eight minutes or more to achieve a 3-log reduction of Listeria monocytogenes, thus affecting products' quality. The proposed system offers a competitive alternative to existing hot water or steam-based in-package pasteurization equipment. It will be much less expensive, easier to install, and have a much smaller footprint. It will represent a food safety breakthrough for the American meat industry and beyond, as the technology could be extended to other food products.