Food Science and Technology Department


Department of Food Science and Technology: Faculty Publications

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Sabillón L, Stratton J, Rose D, Eskridge K, Bianchini A. Effect of high-pressure processing on the microbial load and functionality of sugar-cookie dough. Cereal Chem. 2020;98:70–80. doi:10.1002/cche.10377


Copyright © 2020 Cereals & Grains Association; published by John Wiley & Sons. Used by permission.


Background and objectives: Refrigerated dough products have the potential to be a safety hazard to consumers because they could be consumed raw or undercooked. The objectives of this study were designed to evaluate the microbial and functionality changes in high pressured sugar-cookie dough as a function of aw (0.80–0.87), pressure level (100–600 MPa), and holding time (1–6 min).

Findings: Endogenous microbial populations were marginally reduced (0.2–0.5 log CFU/g) by pressure treatments. However, treating the dough at 600 MPa for 6 min significantly reduced counts of inoculated Escherichia coli by as much as 2.0 log CFU/g. Increasing the aw of cookie dough from 0.80 to 0.87 did not play a significant role in the reduction of microbial counts; however, it yielded a softer and thicker cookie when baked. Dough and cookie physical characteristics did not differ significantly among HPP-treated and control doughs within the same aw level.

Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that pressure treatment has the potential to improve the microbiological quality of wheat-based cookie doughs. However, variations in food matrix composition must be considered because some food constituents, such as sugar and fat, may protect microorganisms against pressure-induced inactivation.

Significance and novelty: The results reported here have practical implications for the food industry and contributes to understand the effects of high-pressure processing on wheat-based cookie doughs and their microbial loads.

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