Virtual Conference

Murad A. Al-Holy

The Hashemite University, Jordan

Title: Survival and growth behavior of common foodborne pathogens in falafel paste under different storage temperatures


Falafel is one of the most common breakfast foods in the Middle East that has been recently involved in several outbreaks of foodborne illness. The aim of the study was to explore the growth behavior of Salmonella enterica, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Shigella sonnie, Shigella flexneri, Listeria monocytogenes and Staphylococcus aureus in falafel paste (FP) under different storage temperatures (4, 10, or 24 °C) for 14 d. FP (pH= 6.2, aw= .96) was inoculated with 1.0 × 105-1.0 × 106 CFU/g of each of the pathogens separately. All the studied pathogens were able to survive or grow under 4 °C. Salmonella spp. declined slightly at 4 °C but grew to high levels at 10 and 24 °C. E. coli strains only grew in FP when stored under 24 °C and survived at a level of  ~ 1.0 × 105 CFU/g  at 10 °C. Comparatively, Sh. Sonnie and Sh. flexneri showed a better survival pattern in FP stored under 4 °C and grew to high levels at 10 and 24 °C. L. monocytogenes was capable of growing at all examined storage temperatures. Staph aureus only survived at steady levels at 4 and 10 °C and increased to ?1.0 × 107 CFU/g at 24 °C. Total mesophilic count and yeast and mold counts reached to spoilage levels (?1.0 × 107 CFU/g) in un-inoculated FP after 1 and 3 d of storage at 24 and 10 °C, respectively.  FP could support the growth of common foodborne pathogens and hence it is recommended to utilize natural antimicrobials in FP and keep the product under refrigeration (4 °C) to preclude the growth of pathogens. 


I graduated my bachelor and master degrees in Nutrition and Food Technology from the University of Jordan, and got my PhD from the Department of Food Science (major) and Human Nutrition (Minor) from Washington State University-WA-USA in 2003. I worked as a department head of the Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics Department at the Hashemite University from 2014-2017.  Currently I am a full professor and dean of the faculty of Applied Medical Sciences-Hashemite University. I have published more than 90 articles in renowned international Journals and also have four published book chapters. Additionally, I published about 90 research papers in internationally renowned peer-reviewed scientific journals, and I published three book chapters. My research focuses on infectious diseases transmitted by food and implications of bad nutrition on the incidence of contemporary diseases. My research is highly cited. The google scholar H-index of my research is 33 and the i-10 s 63. My Scopus H-index is 28. I have got several awards and scholarships, most importantly, the Fulbright scholarship and Abdul Hameed Shuman foundation award for the distinguished researcher in the Arab world.