|ALICEA, CRISTINA - University Of Puerto Rico|
|MENDEZ, DAISA - University Of Puerto Rico|
|Burke, Angela - Mattrazzo|
|ORELLANA, LYNETTE - University Of Puerto Rico|
Submitted to: Journal of Food Protection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/30/2017
Publication Date: 3/7/2018
Citation: Alicea, C., Annous, B.A., Mendez, D.P., Burke, A.M., Orellana, L.E. 2018. Evaluation of hot water, chlorine dioxide, and hypochlorous acid treatments in combination with an edible coating for enhancing safety, quality and shelf-life of fresh-cut cantaloupes. Journal of Food Protection. 81:534-541.
Interpretive Summary: Cantaloupe melons have been implicated in at least six outbreaks of Salmonella and one outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes since 1990. Our laboratory has investigated a variety of treatments for sanitizing melons, concluding that aqueous sanitizers were only partially effective at reducing populations of Salmonella, especially when the target bacteria were allowed to reside on the melon surface for more than 24 hours. Recently, our laboratory has focused on the use of hot water as a simple intervention to inactivate surface associated bacteria. The goal of the current research was to demonstrate the efficacy of hot water surface pasteurization at 76.1 degrees C for 3 min in combination with coating of the fresh-cut with an edible coating for the inactivation of Salmonella and enhancing sensory qualities of the fresh-cut cantaloupes. Results confirmed that in excess of 99.999% reduction of pathogen populations could be obtained. These results indicate that surface pasteurization will enhance the microbiological safety of this commodity. The use of an edible coating on the fresh-cut resulted in an enhanced sensory qualities and shelf-life of this product. Therefore, combination of pre and post fresh-cut processing of cantaloupes would enhance the safety and sensory qualities of this commodity. These findings will assist food industry and regulatory agencies in establishing processing guidelines to guard against pathogens, thereby decreasing the incidence of food poisoning outbreaks in addition to enhancing the sensory qualities and shelf-life.
Technical Abstract: Fresh-cut cantaloupes have been implicated in numerous foodborne outbreaks of salmonellosis. Commercial treatments are limited in their ability to inactivate Salmonella enterica. Our objective was to evaluate the efficacy of hot water, gaseous chlorine dioxide, and hypochlorous acid (HOCl) (Cl2) on enhancing microbial safety and sensory qualities of fresh-cut cantaloupes. Cantaloupes were inoculated with cocktail of Salmonella enterica (Michigan, Mbandaka and Poona) and were treated as follows: HOCl (200ppm total chlorine) for 40 min, 5 mg/L chlorine dioxide for 4.5 hours and Hot Water 76.1 degrees C for 3 min. Fresh-cut cantaloupes were prepared from treated whole cantaloupes and divided into two sets, one set was treated with NatureSeal® to evaluate its effect on the shelf-life and sensory qualities of the fresh-cut, the second set (control) was packed without further treatment. Fresh-cut samples were stored at 4 degrees C for up to 21 days. All sensory qualities (color, water loss, and texture) of fresh-cut samples treated with NatureSeal® were significantly (p<0.05) better than the control samples. All treatments significantly (p<0.05) reduced the pathogen cell populations on the rind of the cantaloupes and the fresh-cut samples prepared from the treated melons. All fresh-cut samples prepared from hot water treated cantaloupes were negative for the pathogen throughout the storage sampling. The fresh-cut samples prepared from chlorine dioxide and HOCl treated cantaloupes were negative for the pathogens following 14 and 21 days of storage only. These results provide a framework to producers of fresh-cut cantaloupes for the potential use of hot water as an intervention treatment for enhancing the microbiological safety and qualities of this commodity.