Theses and Dissertations



Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Schilling, M. Wes

Committee Member

Campbell, Yan L.

Committee Member

Phillips, Thomas W.

Committee Member

Crist, Courtney A.

Committee Member

Williams, J. Byron

Other Advisors or Committee Members

Freeman, Charles Kundu, Santanu

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Food Science, Nutrition, and Health Promotion

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion


The objective of this research was to evaluate if chitosan and another food-grade compound can be incorporated into food-grade coatings in conjunction with propylene glycol and polysaccharides to control Tyrophagus putrescentiae growth without affecting sensory attributes, water activity, and moisture content of dry-cured hams. Each coating solution was coated on ham cubes (2.5 × 2.5 × 2.5 cm3, n = 5/treatment) or infused in ham nets, and dry-cured ham cubes were wrapped in the ham nets prior to inoculation with 20 mixed-sex adult mites. Randomized complete block designs with two replications were utilized to evaluate the efficacy of treatments at controlling mite growth on dry-cured ham cubes.

When CH was mixed with XG and infused into a net, fewer mites (15.7 and 21.0 mites) were on ham cubes (P < 0.05) in comparison to the control (211.2 mites). Results indicated that CH contributed to controlling mite growth since 1% XG alone did not control mite growth. Difference from control test results indicated that no sensory differences existed (NS) between CH-treated and control ham slices.

The addition of a food-grade compound (SP or 24P) to the XG coatings enhanced mite control efficacy. When 1% SP was added to 1% XG, it effectively controlled mite growth in both coating and netting treatments. Increasing 1% SP to 2% SP did not significantly (NS) control mite growth in the coating solution but did control mite growth when infused in the net. Both coating and netting treatments with 2% 24P + 1% XG controlled mite growth. When 24P was the only ingredient in the treatment, both 1% and 2% 24P controlled mites when infused in the net. The addition of SP did not (NS) impact the sensory attributes of the dry-cured ham. The 2% 24P + 1% XG treatment differed in moistness (P < 0.05) when compared to the blind control, but the rating was still less than 2 (moderately different). Overall, results from these studies indicate that chitosan can potentially be added in coatings or ham nets as tools to control mites in an integrated pest management program for dry-cured hams.

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