Date of Award

Spring 5-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Food Science

First Advisor

Rosalee Hellberg

Second Advisor

Anuradha Prakash

Third Advisor

Fredric Caporaso


With the growing demand and variety of meat analogs on the commercial market, there is a need to revisit the methodology for the detection of foodborne pathogens in these products. The current Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory methods for Salmonella enterica detection in meat analogs follow the Bacteriological Analytical Manual (BAM) and are time-consuming and costly, requiring pre-enrichment using lactose broth (LB) with a surfactant (e.g., Triton X-100). Therefore, this study aimed to optimize pre-enrichment and screening methods for the detection of Salmonella in meat analogs by comparing the current FDA reference methods to updated techniques. To achieve this, meat analog samples were inoculated with Salmonella at three levels according to FDA validation guidelines: (1) fractional inoculated level (50% ± 25% of tests positive in at least one method), (2) +1 log inoculated level (100% positive results in at least one method), and (3) uninoculated control. The FDA reference method using LB with Triton X-100 (LB-T) for pre-enrichment followed by culture confirmation was compared to alternative pre-enrichment methods using LB or buffered peptone water (BPW). Additionally, the current screening method (VIDAS) was compared to rapid screening methods (LAMP and qPCR). Pre-enrichment with LB, LB-T, and BPW showed similar detection rates for culture-based confirmation, ranging from 76% (38/50) for LB-T to 86% (43/50) for BPW. Similarly, all three screening methods exhibited similar detection rates, ranging from 75% (115/150) for VIDAS to 81% (121/150) for LAMP. These results suggest that surfactants are unnecessary for the detection of Salmonella in the meat analog products tested in this study and vii that LAMP and qPCR are effective screening alternatives to VIDAS. The adoption of the modified, more efficient methods tested in this study will reduce the time and cost associated with Salmonella detection in meat analogs.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Available for download on Thursday, May 07, 2026