Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2007
Publication Date: 4/7/2008
Citation: Niemira,B. 2008. Inactivation of Microbial Contaminants in Fresh Produce [abstract].American Chemica Society International Meeting. New Orleans,LA.p.1.
Technical Abstract: With the microbial safety of fresh produce of increasing concern, conventional sanitizing treatments need to be supplemented with effective new interventions to inactivate human pathogens. Our research group has shown that inoculation with suppressive microbial communities inhibits the growth of Salmonella on vegetable surfaces by up to 99% during the course of storage. To treat Salmonella on cantaloupe, rapid thermal treatments and gaseous chlorine dioxide can achieve reductions of more than 99.99%. Research on nonthermal physical treatments has shown that irradiation can reduce E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes on leafy vegetables and other produce by more than 99.99% while preserving product quality. A novel processing technology, cold plasma, has shown promising results, with 99.9% reductions of Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 on apple surfaces. 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.