S. Balamurugan, Ph.D.

Image Sampathkumar Balamurugan
Research Scientist

Meat Microbiology and Foodborne Zoonoses

Current research and/or projects

Increasing agricultural productivity and addressing threats to the value chain are priority objectives for the Beef and Agri-Food Sector which require the development of innovative and cost effective agri-food processes. To achieve this objective, research activities are focused on: (1) development and validation of novel non-thermal food processing technologies and biocontrol strategies to control foodborne pathogens; (2) perform microbial challenge testing of foods and validate control measures to improve safety and shelf-life of RTE (ready-to-eat) meats. The level 2+ containment food processing facility gives the chance to work in a reliable production facility and produce foods contaminated with outbreak associated pathogenic bacteria rather than surrogates. This will assist Canadian food processors and specifically the meat industry prevent foodborne illness and ultimately, provide Canadian consumers with a variety of safe and beneficial choices while opening up new marketing opportunities for Canada's farmers and food processors through scientific innovation.

Research and/or project statements

  • Validation of the dry fermented sausage (Salami) production process that do not utilize heat treatment to inactivate E. coli O157.H7 and Salmonella spp.
  • Use of bacteriophage endolysins as antimicrobial coatings on food packaging films to control Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella spp.
  • Persistence and control of foodborne pathogens in different food processing environments
  • Growth and death modelling of significant foodborne microbial threats under different processing conditions
  • Survival and control of Salmonella serovars in food production systems: Role of iron uptake systems and new approaches in fighting

Professional activities / interests

  • Meat microbiology
  • Microbial challenge testing, validation, and verification of food processes 
  • Non-thermal processing

Education and awards

Ph.D. Applied Microbiology and Food Science, University of Saskatchewan, 2003

Key publications

  1. Balamurugan, S., Gemmell, C., Lau, A.T.Y., Arvaj, L., Strange, P., Gao, A., Barbut, S. (2020). High pressure processing during drying of fermented sausages can enhance safety and reduce time required to produce a dry fermented product. Food Control, [online] 113 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2020.107224

    2020 - View publication details

  2. Ahmadi, H., Barbut, S., Lim, L.T., Balamurugan, S. (2020). Examination of the Use of Bacteriophage as an Additive and Determining Its Best Application Method to Control Listeria monocytogenes in a Cooked-Meat Model System. Frontiers in Microbiology, [online] 11 http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2020.00779

    2020 - View publication details

  3. Yin Lau, A.T., Barbut, S., Ross, K., Diarra, M.S., Balamurugan, S. (2019). The effect of cranberry pomace ethanol extract on the growth of meat starter cultures, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis and Listeria monocytogenes. Food Science and Technology - LWT, [online] 115 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lwt.2019.108452

    2019 - View publication details

  4. De Souza, J., Ahmed, R., Strange, P., Barbut, S., Balamurugan, S. (2018). Effect of caliber size and fat level on the inactivation of E. coli O157:H7 in dry fermented sausages. International Journal of Food Microbiology, [online] 266 167-172. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2017.11.024

    2018 - View publication details

  5. Hussain, M.A., Liu, H., Wang, Q., Zhong, F., Guo, Q., Balamurugan, S. (2017). Use of encapsulated bacteriophages to enhance farm to fork food safety. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, [online] 57(13), 2801-2810. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2015.1069729

    2017 - View publication details

  6. Guild, B., Radford, D., Balamurugan, S., and Lim, L.-T. (2016). "Antimicrobial xanthan gum coating of felix-01 bacteriophage on poly-(lactic acid) film.", Annual meeting of the Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology, Burnaby, BC, Canada, February 22-23, 2016. (Poster)

    2016 - View publication details

  7. De Souza, J., Barbut, S., and Balamurugan, S. (2016). "Reduction of E. coli O157:H7 in dry fermented salami based on diameter size, fat content and starter cultures.", Annual meeting of the Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology, Burnaby, BC, Canada, February 22-23, 2016. (Poster)

    2016 - View publication details

  8. Balamurugan, S., Ahmed, R., Chibeu, A., Gao, A., Koutchma, T., Strange, P. (2016). Effect of salt types and concentrations on the high-pressure inactivation of Listeria monocytogenes in ground chicken. International Journal of Food Microbiology, [online] 218 51-56. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2015.11.010

    2016 - View publication details

  9. Balamurugan, S., Leon-Velarde, C.G., and Saleh-Lakha, S. (2015). "Fate of Salmonella spp., E. Coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes during the manufacture of dry cured Westphalian style ham.", Annual Meeting of the International Association of Food Protection (IAFP 2015), Oregon Convention Center, Portland, OR, USA, July 26-29, 2015.

    2015 - View publication details

  10. Balamurugan, S., Ahmed, R., Gao, A., Koutchma, T., and Strange, P. (2015). "Effect of salt concentrations on the high pressure inactivation of Listeria monocytogenes.", Annual meeting of the International Association of Food Protection, Portland, OR, USA, July 28, 2015, Invited oral presentation.

    2015 - View publication details

  11. Balamurugan, S., Ahmed, R., Gao, A., and Strange, P. (2015). "Survival of non-O157 STEC and E. coli O157:H7 during the manufacture of dry fermented sausages (DFS).", Annual Meeting of the International Association of Food Protection (IAFP 2015), Oregon Convention Center, Portland, OR, USA, July 26-29, 2015.

    2015 - View publication details

  12. Balamurugan, S., Ahmed, R., Gao, A. (2015). Survival of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in broth as influenced by pH, water activity and temperature. Letters in Applied Microbiology, [online] 60(4), 341-346. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/lam.12375

    2015 - View publication details

  13. Ros-Polski, V., Koutchma, T., Xue, J., Defelice, C., Balamurugan, S. (2015). Effects of high hydrostatic pressure processing parameters and NaCl concentration on the physical properties, texture and quality of white chicken meat, 30 31-42. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ifset.2015.04.003

    2015 - View publication details

  14. Wang, Q., Kostrzynska, M., Gong, J., Balamurugan, S., Miller, S., Cui, S.W., and Bach, S.J. (2014). Investigation of the use of bacteriophages in combination with probiotics for the control of Salmonella infection in food-producing animals. Research Project Annual Report. AAFC Project ID J-000234. (Report)

    2014 - View publication details

  15. Chibeu, A., Agius, L., Gao, A., Sabour, P.M., Kropinski, A.M., and Balamurugan, S. (2013). "Effectiveness of bacteriophage Listex™ P100 combined with chemical antimicrobials in reducing Listeria monocytogenes on roast beef and cooked turkey.", 20th Biennial Evergreen International Phage Meeting, Olympia, WA, USA.

    2013 - View publication details

  16. Ahmed, R., Gao, A., and Balamurugan, S. (2013). "Growth and inactivation of Shiga-toxin producing E. coli under conditions relevant for fermented sausages.", 11th OMAFRA Food Safety Research Forum, Guelph, ON, Canada.

    2013 - View publication details

  17. Chibeu, A., Agius, L., Sabour, P.M., Kropinski, A.M., and Balamurugan, S. (2013). "Efficacy of bacteriophage Listex™ P100 in presence of chemical antimicrobials reducing Listeria monocytogenes on roast beef and cooked turkey.", 11th OMAFRA Food Safety Research Forum, Guelph, ON, Canada.

    2013 - View publication details

  18. Chibeu, A., Agius, L., Gao, A., Sabour, P.M., Kropinski, A.M., Balamurugan, S. (2013). Efficacy of bacteriophage LISTEX™P100 combined with chemical antimicrobials in reducing Listeria monocytogenes in cooked turkey and roast beef, 167(2), 208-214. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2013.08.018

    2013 - View publication details

  19. Ahmed, R., Balamurugan, S. (2013). Evaluation of three Arcobacter selective agars for selective enumeration of Arcobacter butzleri in beef. Food Research International, [online] 52(2), 522-525. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2013.02.029

    2013 - View publication details

  20. Balamurugan, S., Ahmed, R., Chambers, J.R. (2013). Survival of Arcobacter butzleri on vacuum packaged chill stored beef, 52(2), 503-507. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2013.01.048

    2013 - View publication details

Research facility

93 Stone Road West
Guelph, ON N1G 5C9
Canada

Affiliations

  • Special Graduate Faculty, Department of Food Science, University of Guelph

Language

English