Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Food, Nutrition, and Culinary Science

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Paul Dawson

Committee Member

Dr. Julie Northcutt

Committee Member

Dr. William Pennington


Maintaining sausage analogue quality during a thawing process and storage is important for increasing consumer satisfaction. Following new trends and prevalence of plant-based meats and a flexitarian diet, two experiments were conducted to test how thawing methods (experiment 1) and storage temperatures (experiment 2) affect meat analogue quality. For Experiment 1, Jimmy Dean Original Sausage Patties Made with Pork & Turkey, Morningstar Veggie Original Patties and Beyond Sausage Original Patties were purchased pre-frozen and subsequently thawed in one of three ways: 1. thawed at 4°C for 24 hours, 2. thawed at room temperature (22°C±2°C) for 4 hours and 3. thawed in the microwave for 30-35 seconds. Sausage and sausage analog quality was evaluated by measuring thaw loss percentage, colorimetry, water activity, pH, sensory scoring, GC-headspace volatiles, TBARS values, Texture profile analysis (TPA) and cooking loss percentage. For experiment 2, the same three types of sausage patties were purchased and placed under refrigeration at either 1°C, 4°C or 7°C. Temperature fluctuations and relative humidity data were monitored using sensors. Sausage and sausage analogue quality was evaluated by measuring total aerobic bacteria, drip loss percentage, colorimetry, water activity, pH, GC-headspace volatiles, proximate analysis (moisture, fat, protein content), water holding capacity, sensory, TPA, and cooking yield. The most striking difference in thawing effects was a higher thaw loss in microwaved samples compared to the other methods. Additionally, refrigeration temperatures had an effect on shelf life and quality of samples. The samples that were subjected to a storage temperature of 7°C were associated with lower quality and shortened shelf life as seen by higher microbial counts and less desirable color and texture found through colorimetry and texture profile analysis, respectively. Conversely, a refrigeration temperature of 1°C was associated with higher quality patties as there was lower microbial counts and higher 3 cooking yield. Better textural properties were seen in samples that were refrigerated at 4°C through the use of texture profile analysis. Despite the impact of methodology on samples, patty types were the largest indicator of quality with Morningstar patties seen as the highest quality reflected by low microbial counts, low moisture loss and high scores in sensory trials.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.