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. and Ahmed, R. (2012). "Survival of Arcobacter butzleri on sterile and naturally contaminated vacuum packed beef at refrigerated temperatures.", Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology 50th National Conference (CIFST), Niagara Falls, ON, Canada, May 27 – 29, 2012.

    2012 - View publication details

  2. Bakhshi, F., Griffith, M., Balamurugan, S., and Sabour, P.M. (2012). "2-D PAGE identification of g bovine whey proteins inhibiting Staphylococcus aureus and bacteriophage K interaction.", 10th OMAFRA Food Safety Research Forum, Guelph, ON, Canada.

    2012 - View publication details

  3. Balamurugan, S., Ponmariappan, S., Du, T., and Mulvey, M. (2011). "Detection and characterization of Clostridium difficile spores in a beef cattle feedlot operation.", 61st Annual Conference of Canadian Society of Microbiologists, St. John’s, NL, Canada, June 20-23, 2011.

    2011 - View publication details

  4. Balamurugan, S. and Ponmariappan, S. (2011). "Oxygen tolerance of Arcobacter butzleri and its effect on protein expression.", 61st Annual Conference of Canadian Society of Microbiologists, St. John’s, NL, Canada, June 20-23, 2011.

    2011 - View publication details

  5. Balamurugan, S. (2011). "Growth temperature associated protein expression and membrane fatty acid composition profiles of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium [Journal of Basic Microbiology, 2010 50(6), pp. 507-518] (Erratum).", Journal of Basic Microbiology, 51(2), pp. 230.

    2011 - View publication details

  6. Balamurugan, S., Nattress, F.M., Baker, L.P., Dilts, B.D. (2011). Survival of Campylobacter jejuni on beef and pork under vacuum packaged and retail storage conditions: Examination of the role of natural meat microflora on C. jejuni survival. Food Microbiology, [online] 28(5), 1003-1010. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fm.2011.01.012

    2011 - View publication details

  7. Yang, X., Balamurugan, S., Gill, C.O. (2011). Effects on the development of blown pack spoilage of the initial numbers of Clostridium estertheticum spores and Leuconostoc mesenteroides on vacuum packed beef, 88(3), 361-367. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meatsci.2011.01.010

    2011 - View publication details

  8. Yang, X.Q., Gill, C.O., and Balamurugan, S. (2010). "Enumeration of Clostridium estertheticum spores in samples from meat plant conveyors and silage stacks by cultural and real-time PCR procedures.", Internet Journal of Food Safety, 12, pp. 115-121.

    2010 - View publication details

  9. Ponmariappan, S., Yang, X.Q., and Balamurugan, S. (2010). "PCR-DGGE based characterization of microbial diversity in “blown pack” spoiled vacuum packaged chill stored beef.", 90th Annual Conference of the Canadian Meat Council, Fairmont Empress Victoria Conference Centre, Victoria, BC, Canada, May 5-7, 2010.

    2010 - View publication details

  10. Yang, X.Q., Gill, C.O., and Balamurugan, S. (2010). "Products of Glucose and Lactate Fermentation, and Utilization of Amino Acids by Clostridium estertheticum subspp. Laramiense and estertheticum Growing in Meat Juice Medium.", Journal of Food Protection, 73(7), pp. 1348-1352.

    2010 - View publication details

  11. Ponmariappan, S., Yang, X.Q., and Balamurugan, S. (2010). "PCR-DGGE based characterization of microbial diversity in “Blown pack” spoiled vacuum packaged chill stored beef.", 90th Annual Conference of the Canadian Meat Council, Fairmont Empress Victoria Conference Centre, Victoria, BC, Canada, May 5-7, 2010.

    2010 - View publication details

  12. Balamurugan, S. and Baker, L.P. (2010). "Survival of Arcobacter butzleri on vacuum packaged beef stored under refrigerated temperatures.", 97th Annual Meeting of the International Association of Food Protection, Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA, USA, August 1-4, 2010.

    2010 - View publication details

  13. Balamurugan, S. (2010). Growth temperature associated protein expression and membrane fatty acid composition profiles of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. Journal of Basic Microbiology, [online] 50(6), 507-518. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jobm.201000037

    2010 - View publication details

  14. Ponmariappan, S. and Balamurugan, S. (2009). "Prevalence of toxigenic Clostridium difficile in beef cattle feedlots.", 13th Annual Federal Food Safety and Nutrition Research Meeting (FFSNRM), Ottawa, ON, Canada, November 4-5, 2009.

    2009 - View publication details

  15. Yang, X.Q., Balamurugan, S., and Gill, C.O. (2009). "Effects of the initial numbers of Clostridium estertheticum and Leuconostoc on rates of distension of vacuum packs of beef.", 13th Annual Federal Food Safety and Nutrition Research Meeting (FFSNRM), Ottawa, ON, Canada, November 4-5, 2009.

    2009 - View publication details

  16. Yang, X.Q., Gill, C.O., and Balamurugan, S. (2009). "Criteria that differentiate subspecies of Clostridium estertheticum are not valid.", 89th Annual Conference of the Canadian Meat Council, Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Montréal, QC, Canada, May 6-8, 2009.

    2009 - View publication details

  17. Yang, X.Q., Gill, C.O., and Balamurugan, S. (2009). "Effects of temperature and pH on the growth of bacteria isolated from blown packs of vacuum packaged beef.", Journal of Food Protection, 72(11), pp. 2380-2385.

    2009 - View publication details

  18. Yang, X.Q., Gill, C.O., and Balamurugan, S. (2009). "Effects of temperature and pH on organisms from the spoilage flora of blown vacuum packs of beef.", 89th Annual Conference of the Canadian Meat Council, Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Montréal, QC, Canada, May 6-8, 2009.

    2009 - View publication details

  19. Yang, X.Q., Balamurugan, S., and Gill, C.O. (2009). "Quantification of spores of Clostridium estertheticum by real-time PCR.", 13th Annual Federal Food Safety and Nutrition Research Meeting (FFSNRM), Ottawa, ON, Canada, November 4-5, 2009.

    2009 - View publication details

  20. Balamurugan, S. (2009). "Substrate utilization by Clostridium estertheticum, the causative organism of blown pack spoilage of vacuum packaged chill stored beef.", Canadian Meat Science Association Newsletter, 2009(Spring/Summer), pp. 17-18.

    2009 - 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