Submitted to: Proceedings of Florida State Horticultural Society
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 3, 2005
Publication Date: February 1, 2006
Citation: Narciso, J.A. 2005. An assessment of methods to clean citrus fruit surfaces. Proceedings of Florida State Horticultural Society. 118:437-440.
Interpretive Summary: Compares common methods of sanitizing fruit surfaces with a peroxyacetic acid product in terms of reducing the microorganism populations on the surfaces of citrus fruit. These surface organisms can cause post harvest problems in storage and transit resulting in an unmarketable fruit.
A move away from harsh chemicals towards more natural or organic postharvest treatments for citrus has prompted interest in alternate sanitizers for cleaning citrus in packinghouses. In this study we compare the efficiency of sanitizing methods on oranges. The oranges were collected from the field, rinsed under running tap water and surface sterilized in a hot water bath. A cocktail of organisms previously isolated from the surfaces of oranges taken from a commercial grove (including Penicillium digitatum, Geotrichum citri-aurantii and Colletotrichum gloeosporioides) was made and the oranges were inoculated by dipping them into the spore mix. They were air dried for 24 hours and washed with warm water, sodium hypochlorite and a commercial solution of peroxyacetic acid. The fruit were allowed to air dry after which time they were washed in sterile buffer to remove any remaining microorganisms. The buffer was analyzed for the presence of these organisms. The commercial solution of peroxyacetic acid was the most effective in removing the microorganisms from surfaces of the oranges.