Application of supercritical carbon dioxide for processing of food products has an impact on microbial inactivation and food quality. This technique is used to preserve tempeh due to no heat involved. The quality of tempeh is highly influenced by mold growth because of its role in forming a compact texture, white color, and functional properties as well as consumer acceptance. This study aims to observe viability of molds and bacteria in tempeh after processed with supercritical CO2 and to determine the best processing conditions which can maintain mold growth and reduce the number of bacteria in tempeh. For that purpose, tempeh was treated using high pressure CO2 at 7.6 MPa (supercritical CO2) and at 6.3 MPa (sub/near supercritical CO2) with incubation period of 5, 10, 15, and 20 min. The best treatment obtained was used to process tempeh for storage study. The results showed that there was a significant interaction between pressure and incubation period for bacterial and mold viability at ρ >0.05. Reduction of bacteria and molds increased with longer incubation period. Molds were undetectable after treatment for 20 min with either supercritical CO2 or sub-supercritical, and bacteria significantly reduced up to 2.40 log CFU/g. On the other hand, sub-supercritical CO2 for 10 min was the best processing method because molds survived 4.3x104 CFU/gram after treatment and were able to grow during storage at 30°C, producing white mycelium as indicated by increasing the color value and tempeh acceptability. The inactivation of mold was reversible causing it to grow back during storage under suitable conditions. Tempeh matrix composition can provide protection against the destructive effects of supercritical CO2. Gram-positive bacteria were more resistant than Gram-negative. In conclusion, sub-supercritical CO2 can act as a method of cold pasteurization of tempeh and can be used as an alternative method to preserve tempeh.
Copyright © 2018 Maria Erna Kustyawati et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.