Effect of hot water treatments on the safety and quality of Fusarium-infected malting barley

Balasubrahmanyam Kottapalli, Charlene E Wolf-Hall
International Journal of Food Microbiology 2008 May 31, 124 (2): 171-8
Utilization of Fusarium-infected barley for malting may lead to mycotoxin contamination of malt and decreased malt quality. Hot water treatments may prevent or reduce safety and quality defects and allow use of otherwise good quality barley. We evaluated hot water treatments for preventing Fusarium growth and mycotoxin production while maintaining barley-malt characteristics. Four barley lots with varying deoxynivalenol (DON) concentrations were hot water-treated at 45 or 50 degrees C for 0, 1, 5, 12, and 20 min. Treated barley was malted in a pilot-scale malting unit. Barley and malt were analyzed for Fusarium infection (FI), germinative energy (GE), aerobic plate count (APC), mold and yeast count (MYC), and DON. Malt quality parameters included malt extract, soluble protein, wort color, wort viscosity, free amino nitrogen, alpha-amylase, and diastatic power. Significant decreases in FI occurred within 1 min at both 45 degrees C (41-66%) and 50 degrees C (51-69%) in all barley samples. Significant reductions in APC (1.0-1.8 log) and MYC (1.7-1.8 log) in barley were observed after 5 min at both temperatures. The largest reductions for DON were observed in malts prepared from barley treated with hot water at 45 degrees C (79-93%) and 50 degrees C (84-88%) for 20 min. GE and most of the malt quality parameters were only affected when barley was treated at 50 degrees C for 12 and 20 min. The results suggest that hot water treatments may offer the potential for treating mildly FHB infected malting barley.

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