Strategies to enhance fresh produce decontamination using combined treatments of ultraviolet, washing and disinfectants
Published on Oct 1, 2018in International Journal of Food Microbiology4.01
· DOI :10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2018.06.014
Abstract This study investigated the effect of a water-assisted ultraviolet system (WUV; samples were treated by UV while being immersed in agitated water) on the inactivation of Salmonella on baby spinach, iceberg lettuce, blueberry, grape tomato, and baby-cut carrot. The Salmonella inactivation effect of the WUV system was tested in two scales, and three disinfectants, chlorine, peroxyacetic acid (PAA) and hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2 ), were tested in combination with the system to see whether the Salmonella inactivation effect could be enhanced. The fresh produce samples were dip-inoculated with a Salmonella cocktail to final concentrations of 4.6–7.6 log CFU/g. To simulate the washing process in the industry, fresh produce extracts and/or silicon dioxide were added in the wash water to adjust chemical oxygen demand to ~2000 mg/L and turbidity to >60 NTU. In general, the decontamination efficacy of WUV treatments followed this order: Tomato > Carrot > Lettuce ≈ Blueberry > Spinach. In the small-scale study, WUV alone was able to achieve 0.9, 2.6, >3.6, 1.7, and 2.0 log CFU/g reductions of Salmonella on fresh produce for spinach, lettuce, tomato, blueberry, and carrot, respectively. For all fresh produce items, WUV combined with PAA could achieve significantly (P Salmonella reduction on fresh produce than chlorine wash and PAA wash. The WUV treatments combined with chlorine or PAA were able to keep residual Salmonella in wash water below the detection limit (2 CFU/mL) for almost all the replicates. Similar Salmonella reductions on fresh produce and in wash water were found in the large-scale study. Considering the decontamination efficacy on fresh produce, the ability to disinfect the wash water, and the cost, we recommend chlorine wash for baby spinach, WUV alone for grape tomato and WUV combined with PAA for iceberg lettuce, blueberry and baby-cut carrot.