Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/11/2007
Publication Date: 10/17/2007
Citation: Niemira, B.A. 2007. Improving the microbiological safety and quality of fresh and fresh-cut produce in the U.S. [abstract]. Food Technology and Green Chemistry Meeting. p. 1.
Technical Abstract: Our research priorities are to understand how pathogens become associated with fresh and fresh-cut produce, and to develop and validate effective, safe and commercially applicable antimicrobial processes and interventions (“kill steps”) suitable for use on these fragile, high-value commodities. Our research group investigates physical and chemical treatments such as hot water pasteurization, ultrasound, gaseous chlorine dioxide, cold plasma, hydrogen peroxide vapor, and irradiation, alone or in combination. Research in biological controls deals with the use of single or multiple isolates of antagonistic bacteria for inhibiting the outgrowth of bacterial human pathogens, using sprouting seed and sprouts as a model system. Related research in microbial ecology determines how pathogen biofilm formation and interactions with native microflora may alter the efficacy of applied treatments and interventions. This presentation will summarize the advances made in these areas, as well as research results on the process of scaling up effective interventions from laboratory scale to pilot plant scale, including the critical process of evaluating the effects of the various interventions on sensory and nutritional quality attributes, yield, physiology, and shelf-life.