Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: February 25, 2009
Publication Date: September 1, 2009
Citation: Fan, X., Annous, B.A., Huang, L. 2009. Improving Microbial Safety of Fresh Produce Using Thermal Treatment. In: Fan, X., Niemira, B.A., Doona, C.J., Feeherry, F.E., Gravani, R.B., editors. Microbial Safety of Fresh Produce. Ames, IA: Willey-Blackwell. p. 241-262. Technical Abstract: A consumer-friendly and effective technology is needed to enhance the microbial safety of fresh and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables. Heat treatments do not pose significant health risks from chemical residues and, as a result, are appealing to consumers, and can be used to process organic produce. Mild heat treatment has been used for many years to control decay and disinfestations of various horticultural crops. This article focused on the use of thermal treatments to improve microbial safety of fresh and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables. The chapter first described thermal treatment fundamentals such as heat transfer and kinetics of thermal inactivation of human pathogens. Then the efficacy of hot water treatment alone or in combination with chlorine, organic acids, and hydrogen peroxide in inactivating human pathogens on lettuce, melon, apple, orange, tomato, mango, pineapple, grape, broccoli, green onions, sprouts and sprouting seeds were reviewed. Also discussed were considerations and limitations for the commercial application of how water treatments for different type of produce. In addition, the chapter evaluated the feasibility of microwave, radio frequency and infrared radiation to enhance produce safety.