Predictive modeling of bacterial growth in ready-to-use salted napa cabbage (Brassica pekinensis) at different storage temperatures

H. W. Kim, K. Lee, S. H. Kim, M. S. Rhee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The objectives of the current study were to investigate the fate of microbial indicators [aerobic plate counts (APC), total coliforms (TC), and lactic acid bacteria (LAB)] in commercial salted napa cabbages during storage conditions at different temperatures (5, 22, and 30 °C, for up to 72 h) and to develop a predictive growth model using the modified Gompertz equation to determine shelf life. Microbial population sizes (initial log CFU g−1: APC, 5.1; TC, 3.0; LAB, 3.7) remained stable at 5 °C, but rapidly increased by 2–4 log CFU g−1 within 12 h at 22 and 30 °C; furthermore, the pH of salted napa cabbages decreased significantly (P < 0.05: initial pH 6.3; final pH 4.1–4.4) due to LAB fermentation. The pH showed a negative correlation with all bacterial groups and did not prevent the growth of TC during storage. According to the modified Gompertz model (R2 ≧ 0.97), the highest μmax was observed for LAB at 30 °C [0.61 log CFU h−1], while the lowest was noted for TC at 5 °C [0.04 log CFU h−1]. Shelf-life was determined using APC (7.7 log CFU g−1) and LAB (6.0 log CFU g−1) limits; the microbiological acceptability period of salted napa cabbage was predicted to be 12.6 and 9.3 h at 22 and 30 °C, respectively. Thus, consumers should use the product within 12 h of storage at room temperature (more quickly in the summer (9 h)), or store it in a refrigerator. The presented research proposes a shelf-life modeling of commercial salted napa cabbages, which may be used as a scientific basis for product quality control and issuing appropriate guidance for consumer use at home.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-136
Number of pages8
JournalFood Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant from the Korea Ministry of Food and Drug Safety ( 15162MFDS053 ). The authors also thank the School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology of Korea University for BK 21 PLUS, and the Institute of Biomedical Science and Food Safety, Korea University Food Safety Hall, for providing the equipment and facilities.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd


  • Bacterial growth
  • Predictive modeling
  • Salted napa cabbage
  • Shelf life
  • Storage temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Microbiology


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