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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ALTERNATIVE FOOD PROCESSING TECHNOLOGIES

Location: Food Safety and Intervention Technologies

Title: Irradiation of seeds and sprouts

Authors
item Rajkowski, Kathleen
item Bari, Latiful MD -

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: February 23, 2012
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Consumption of raw sprouts has gained popularity due to their high nutrient and low caloric value. During the sprouting of the seeds, the conditions are favorable for the growth of bacteria, including pathogens which can cause foodborne illnesses. This chapter discusses the bacterial pathogens identified from confirmed foodborne illness outbreaks associated with contaminated sprouts. A list of the outbreaks caused by sprouts is provided. Various decontamination methods for the seeds are reviewed, including the nonthermal intervention irradiation. A 2 log reduction of bacterial pathogens was reported with an acceptable sprout yield after a 2 kGy radiation dose applied to the seeds. Higher doses caused lower sprout yield. Ionizing radiation can be used to improve the microbial safety of sprouts with minimal effect on sprout nutrient value or quality.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014