Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/16/2017
Publication Date: 7/16/2017
Citation: Ukuku, D.O., Geveke, D.J., Chau, L.I., Niemira, B.A. 2017. Microbial safety and overall quality of cantaloupe fresh-cut pieces prepared from whole cantaloupe after wet steam treatment. [Abstract].Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting., Chicago, Illinois. Volume 1, Page 1.
Technical Abstract: Fresh-cut cantaloupes have been associated with outbreaks of Salmonelosis disease and the minimally processed fresh-cut fruits have a limited shelf life because of deterioration caused by spoilage microflora and physiological processes. In this study, we evaluated the effect of minimal wet steam treatment in reducing microbial populations on cantaloupe rind surface designated for fresh-cut processing. Whole cantaloupe rind surfaces were inoculated with Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes at 4.5, 5.1 and 3.6 log CFU/cm2, respectively, and were stored at 5 and 22 degrees C for 7 days before minimal wet steam treatments for 300 s, and fresh-cut preparations. Efficacy of minimal wet steam treatment in reducing attached bacteria and minimizing transfer to fresh-cut pieces were investigated at day 0, 3 and 7 of storage. Changes in color (CIE L*, a*, and b*) of fresh-cut pieces due to treatments were measured before and immediately after treatments and during storage. No visual observations of any damage on all treated cantaloupes surfaces immediately after treatments and during storage. All inoculated bacterial pathogens on cantaloupes rind surfaces were negative in treated fresh-cut pieces even after enrichment process. Presence of yeast and mold was detected on the control fresh-cut pieces at day 3 of storage but not on fresh-cut pieces from treated whole melons. Changes in color determined between control and treated samples were insignificant suggesting that steam treatment did not change the color of the fresh-cut pieces. Minimal wet steam treatment of cantaloupes rind surfaces designated for fresh-cut preparation will enhance the microbial safety of fresh-cut pieces, by reducing total bacterial populations and will drastically reduce the incidence of foodborne illness.