Modified atmosphere packaging and irradiation preservation of a sorghum porridge and spinach relish meal
The datasets were collated from two experiments (Phase 1 and 2) that made up the project. The objective of Phase 1 was to determine the effect of two different modified atmosphere packaging gas mixtures (MAP 1: 84.5% N2 + 15.5 % CO2; MAP 2: 82.3% N2 + 15.9% CO2 + 1.8% O2) in combination with irradiation at five different dose levels (2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 kGy) on the inactivation of aerobic mesophilic bacteria (TPC) and C. sporogenes inoculated into the RTE meal, in comparison to a control (0 kGy). The purpose of this phase was to optimise the processing parameters for Phase 2. The objective of Phase 2 was to determine the effects of the optimal combination treatment as determined in Phase 1 on the safety and shelf-life of the sorghum porridge and spinach (morÔgo) RTE meal, as measured by C. sporogenes counts and TPC respectively. In Phase 2, a combination of MAP 1 (84.5% N2 + 15.5% CO2) and irradiation at 10 kGy was used in the processing of inoculated RTE meal samples. The irradiation dose of 10 kGy was chosen for use in this phase because the two components of the RTE meal appeared to remain acceptable up to this dose level from a sensory point of view and this irradiation dose reduced inoculated C. sporogenes spores by approximately 4 log10 cycles. MAP 1 (84.5% N2 + 15.5% CO2) was chosen for use in Phase 2 of the research project, as it was postulated that it would minimise the effects of oxidative rancidity in the RTE meal during storage.