Stress

Microbial stress can be defined as any deleterious physical, chemical, or biological factor that induces modifications in the physiology of microorganisms (i.e., changes in the genome or proteome) that adversely affect microbial growth or survival [1-3]. The application of this broad definition of stress in food processing implies that many preservation treatments (e.g., heat, cold, and acid) are considered stresses, and, as a result, these may significantly influence the behavior of foodborne pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms. Depending on the severity, stresses affect a microbial population in a number of ways. Exposing microorganisms to a sublethal stress (simply, this will be referred to as "stress") affects their metabolic activities unfavorably, leads to cell injury, and consequently retards or temporarily arrests their growth. When a microorganism is exposed to a severe adverse condition (i.e., lethal stress), this causes irreversible cell damage and, consequently, a decrease in population viability.

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