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The current study investigated Listeria monocytogenes inactivation using mild heat with elevated hydrostatic pressure and nisin under buffered condition. A four-strain pathogen mixture was exposed to 0 (control) and up to 9 min of (1) 4 °C elevated pressure; (2) 4 °C elevated pressure and nisin; (3) 4 °C nisin; (4) heat at 40 °C; (5) 40 °C elevated pressure; (6) 40 °C elevated pressure and nisin; and (7) 40 °C nisin. Elevated hydrostatic pressure at 400 MPa (Hub880 Explorer, Pressure BioScience Inc., Easton, MA, USA) and nisin concentration of 5000 IU/mL were used in the trials. Analyses of variance were conducted, followed by Dunnett’s- and Tukey-adjusted means separations. Under conditions of these experiments, nisin augmented (p < 0.05) decontamination efficacy of 40 °C heat and elevated hydrostatic pressure treatments, particularly at treatment interval of 3 min. This synergism with nisin faded away (p ≥ 0.05) as the treatment time for thermal, high-pressure, and thermal-assisted pressure processing increased. The results of our study, thus, exhibit that practitioners and stakeholders of pressure-based technologies could benefit from synergism of mild heat and nisin for short-term, high-pressure pasteurization treatments to achieve microbial safety and economic feasibility comparable to traditional heat-treated products.

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