The Efficiency of UVC Radiation in the Inactivation of 
Listeria monocytogenes
on Beef-Agar Food Models

Amir M. Hamidi-Oskouei1*, Christian James2 and Stephen James2

1Department of Food Manufacturing and Automation, National Centre for Food Manufacturing, Holbeach
 Campus, University of Lincoln, Holbeach, PE12 7PT, United Kingdom
2Food Refrigeration and Process Engineering Research Centre (FRPERC), Grimsby Institute (GIFHE), 
 Nuns Corner, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, DN34 5BQ, United Kingdom

Article history:
Received October 30, 2014
Accepted January 27, 2015

Key words
Listeria monocytogenes, shortwave ultraviolet light (UVC), food model, white light 
interferometer, microbial deactivation, ready-to-eat beef, surface analysis, emerging technology, nonthermal decontamination

The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of meat content and surface smoothness on the deactivation of Listeria monocytogenes in beef-agar food models achieved by shortwave ultraviolet (UVC) light. Food models with various meat contents were made using chopped beef slices and agar solution. Prepared models together with a Listeria selective agar (LSA) plate and a slice of cooked beef were inoculated with L. monocytogenes and then exposed to UVC light. Population of Listeria reduced to below the level of detection on the LSA plates. As the content of beef in the beef-agar models increased, more L. monocytogenes cells survived. Survival was greatest on the treated cooked slice of beef. To better understand the effect of surface irregularities, a white light interferometer was used to analyse the surface smoothness of beef-agar media and LSA plates. No correlation was observed between the surface roughness of seven out of nine types of produced beef-agar media and the degree of inactivation resulting from UVC radiation at the given dose, whereas, less bacterial cells were killed as beef content of the food models increased. The findings of the current study show that the chemical composition of the treated sample also plays an important role in pathogen resistance and survival, meaning that two samples with similar surface irregularities but different chemical composition might produce very different inactivation results when exposed to UVC light.


*Corresponding author:      This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  
   +44 1406 493 000
   +44 1406 493 030