The aim of this study was to evaluate the microbiological quality of fresh and dried pasta products, both industrial and handicraft. A total of 85 different samples (5 aliquots per sample) were collected from retail market. Parameters investigated were enumeration of total count of aerobic mesophilic bacteria at 30 °C, coliform bacteria, β-glucuronidase-positive Escherichia coli, presumptive Bacillus cereus, coagulase-positive Staphylococci, Moulds, Listeria monocytogenes and the detection of Salmonella spp. None of the samples tested contained Salmonella spp. and Listeria monocytogenes. Dried pasta showed generally an excellent hygienic-sanitary profile. Among fresh pasta the share of compliant samples, according to local regulation, was 78.8%. Not packed fresh pasta was more contaminated and in particular if stuffed. Moreover, presumptive Bacillus cereus was present in almost 50% of the samples examined, confirming the importance of introducing the research of this microorganism in official control plans. A water activity greater than 0.92, the processing steps and some ingredients used (in particular ricotta cheese) may increase bacterial growth by limiting the health and the shelf-life of this products. This study suggests that presumptive Bacillus cereus can be considered an indicator of process hygiene with different characteristics respect to coagulase-positive Staphylococci, because it appear more oriented to reveal problems with ingredients present in filling (almost cheese) from both industrial and artisanal production.
Citation: Ricci V, Barone F, Petrella L. 2017. Microbiological Quality of Industrial and Artisanal Pasta from Italian Market. J Food Chem Nanotechnol 3(2): 44-49.