Jan. 1, 2012 - Jan. 31, 2014Award Number
Xiuping Jiang, Ph.D.
There is a growing demand for the physically heat-treated chicken litter being used as soil amendment and organic fertilizer for plant growth. However, chicken litter is often contaminated with human pathogens such as Salmonella spp.Heat treatments have been recommended to reduce or eliminate these pathogens, but no scientific research has been reported to validate if these treatments are adequate to produce the finished products free from pathogenic microorganisms. This proposed study will determine the thermal resistance of a mixture of four Salmonella serotypes at temperatures recommended for heat treatment of chicken litter. Several key environmental factors such as moisture level, nutrient variation, and the freshness of chicken litter will be evaluated. Furthermore, a practical method for combining moist heat treatment with drying process will be investigated for rapidly inactivating Salmonella in broiler chicken litter.The results from this study will provide some practical guidelines on time-temperature combination to treat chicken litter of different properties to produce the finished products as Salmonella-free. The ultimate goal of this project is to help the produce industry to grow safe fresh produce using organic fertilizers free from human pathogens.