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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Wang, Hua
item Feng, Hao
item Luo, Yaguang - Sunny

Submitted to: Journal of Food Safety
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/19/2006
Publication Date: 12/5/2006
Citation: Wang, H., Feng, H., Luo, Y. 2006. The effect of acidic electrolyzed water and peroxyacetic acid on reduction of escherichia coli o157:h7 populations on fresh-cut apples. Journal of Food Safety. 26:335-347.

Interpretive Summary: Fresh-cut apples are in high demand by school lunch programs, retail, and institutional organizations. However, one challenge to the fresh-cut apple industry is how to control browning after cutting and at the same time reducing the risk of potential pathogen contamination. The chemicals used for these purposes are often incompatible. A sanitizer that can be used safely and effectively in conjunction with the current browning control agents is urgently needed. This study evaluated the efficacy of acidic electrolyzed water (AEW) on inactivation of the human pathogenic bacterium, E.coli O157:H7, on fresh-cut apples. Results indicate that AEW significantly reduced populations of E.coli O157:H7 on apple slices. Also, the combination of AEW and calcium ascorbate efectively controlled the browning reaction of fresh-cut apples. This information is important to the future development of effective sanitizers to reduce microbial populations and maintain food quality and safety of fresh produce.

Technical Abstract: This study was conducted to determine the efficacy of seven sanitizer and chemical treatments on the reduction of Escherichia coli O157:H7 populations on the cut surfaces of apple slices. Apple slices were artificially inoculated with E.coli O157:H7 and treated for 5 min with acidic electrolyzed water (AEW), peroxyacetic acid (POAA, 80 mg/L), calcium ascorbate (CaA; 5%), chlorine solution (80 mg/L), sequential treatment of AEW followed by CaA, alkaline electrolyzed water (AIEW) followed by AEW, and de-ionized water (control). The E. coli O157:H7 populations on the cut surfaces of the apple slices were determined at 1, 3 and 5 min of the treatment. All treatments containing AEW, POAA and AIEW showed a significantly (P < 0.05) higher inactivation rate than CaA and water, with POAA and AEW achieving the highest reduction rates of 2.71 and 2.07 log CFU/g of E. coli 0157:H7 populations after a 5 min treatment, respectively. All treatments exhibited a dual-phasic inactivation behavior, with a fast inactivation rate in the 1st min (phase I) of treatment followed by a much slower inactivation rate in the remaining 4 min (phase II). The D-values in phase I for all treatments, with the exception of CaA and water, ranged from 0.6 to 0.7 min, while the D-values in phase II ranged from 4.3 to 30.8 min.

Last Modified: 06/22/2017
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