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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Novel Approach to Microbial Detection

Authors
item Barak Cunningham, Jeri
item McGarvey, Jeffery

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: October 18, 2005
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Our primary objective is to test the efficacy of the thymol/cinnamaldehyde sanitization solution in a real world environment. Identifying the natural bacterial population on the cantaloupe surface will allow us the opportunity to monitor the efficacy of the sanitization solution without introducing genetically modified organisms or human pathogens into a commercial facility. Furthermore, by monitoring the natural bacterial community we can ascertain the efficacy of the treatment on bacterial spoilage organisms.

Technical Abstract: Our primary objective is to test the efficacy of the thymol/cinnamaldehyde sanitization solution in a real world environment. Identifying the natural bacterial population on the cantaloupe surface will allow us the opportunity to monitor the efficacy of the sanitization solution without introducing genetically modified organisms or human pathogens into a commercial facility. To characterize the bacterial microflora, 16S rRNA gene sequences were amplified, cloned and BLAST analyzed. The most prevalent phyla were Fimicutes and Proteobacteria. The most commonly occurring operational taxonomic unit (OTU) had a 16S rRNA gene sequence 97 to 100% similar to that of Pantoea agglomerans for farms 2, 4, and 5 and represented approximately 16.5, 60, and 24%, respectively. Thymol-cinnamaldehyde treatment reduced populations of Salmonella enterica; however, resident populations of genetically related bacteria were unaffected. This study highlights the limitations of evaluating fresh produce sanitizers by inoculating with the target organism and subsequently treating with the sanitizer, as these inoculated bacterial populations are artificially established and the results from such studies are probably misleading.

Last Modified: 7/31/2014
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