Submitted to: Journal of Food Protection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/12/2005
Publication Date: 5/22/2005
Citation: Lloyd, S.W., Grimm, C.C., Klich, M.A., Beltz, S.B. 2005. Fungal infections of fresh-cut fruit can be detected by the gas chromatography/mass spectrometric identification of microbial volatile organic compounds (mvocs). Journal of Food Protection. 68(6):1211-1216. Interpretive Summary: Fresh-cut fruit is a large and rapidly growing market. Fresh-cut fruit spoils faster than whole or canned fruit. This disadvantage can result in monetary loss to the consumer or processor, and may cause illness to the consumer. Chemicals produced by fungi can be analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. The detection of certain specific chemicals indicate the presence of fungal contamination in fruit before the fruit becomes unmarketable. The impact of this is two-fold: first, as an aid to research into new preservation technologies, and second, as a useful tool in the processing plant. A plant manager could use results from this technique to determine the source of contamination, or to direct contaminated but edible fruit to a canning process.
Technical Abstract: Fresh-cut fruit is a large and rapidly growing market. Microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOC) can be used to detect fungal or bacterial contamination in fruit before it becomes unmarketable. Pieces of cantaloupe, apple, pineapple, and orange were inoculated with a variety of fungal species, incubated at 25°C, then sealed in glass vials. The volatiles were extracted by headspace solid phase microextraction, and analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Forty-five compounds were identified that might serve as unique identifiers of fungal contamination. Fungal contamination can be detected as early as 24 hours after inoculation.