DEVELOPMENT OF ULTRASONIC PROCESSES TO IMPROVE PATHOGEN INACTIVATION
Environmental Microbial and Food Safety Laboratory
Project Number: 1245-32420-005-23
General Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Aug 19, 2011
End Date: Aug 30, 2014
ARS is interested in developing effective intervention technologies during post-harvest handling and fresh-cut processing to inactivate pathogens, and/or reduce their survival and growth while maintaining produce quality and shelf-life. A team has been assembled, consisting of researchers from University of Illinois, North Carolina State University, University of Arizona, and University of California, each contributing their unique expertise to achieve the goals of the research. The proposed research is a part of an awarded NIFA grant entitled “Innovative Technologies and Process Optimization for Food Safety Risk Reduction Associated with Fresh and Fresh-cut Leafy Green Vegetables”.
The Cooperator has expertise in developing ultrasonic processes to improve pathogen inactivation while maintaining produce quality. Specifically, in year one: ultrasound treatment will be optimized at the bench scale, and reductions in microbial populations in wash water and on produce and impact on produce quality will be documented. In year two: ultrasound treatment with sanitizers and surfactants will be optimized at bench scale, and reductions in microbial populations in wash water and on produce and impact on produce quality will be documented. In year three: a pilot-scale unit for testing of optimized ultrasonic treatment will be completed and the efficacy of on the unit in disinfecting whole-head lettuce will be documented.