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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Assessing Methods to Clean Fruit Surfaces

Author
item Narciso, Jan

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 5, 2006
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: A move away from harsh chemicals towards more natural or organic postharvest treatments for citrus and other commodities has prompted interest in alternate sanitizers for cleaning fruit surfaces in an effort to prolong shelf-life and fruit quality. In one study, the efficiency of sanitizing methods on oranges was compared. 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 suspension. They were air dried for 24 hours and washed with warm water, sodium hypochlorite and a commercial solution of peroxyacetic acid (PAA). 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. In another study, to reduce contamination on cut fruit surfaces, whole fruit mangos were sanitized with either PAA or sodium hypochlorite to remove the natural microflora from their surfaces before processing. Fruit surfaces were washed with sterile sponges in sterile buffer and the buffer was assessed for numbers of microorganisms. Pieces of fruit cut from these sanitized mangoes were further assessed for the number of organisms transferred from the peel during the peeling and slicing process. The commercial solution of peroxyacetic acid was the most effective in removing the microorganisms from surfaces of these fruits.

Last Modified: 12/20/2014
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