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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Dairy and Functional Foods Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #346862

Research Project: In Vitro Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem: Effects of Diet

Location: Dairy and Functional Foods Research

Title: A novel gaseous chlorine dioxide generating method utilizing carbon dioxide and moisture respired from tomato for Salmonella inactivation

item ZHOU, SIYUAN - Rutgers University
item HU, CHANGYING - Rutgers University
item Liu, Linshu
item Sheen, Shiowshuh - Allen
item ZHAO, GUOHUA - Rutgers University
item YAM, KIT - Rutgers University

Submitted to: Food Control
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/28/2018
Publication Date: 2/3/2018
Citation: Zhou, S., Hu, C., Liu, L.S., Sheen, S., Zhao, G., Yam, K.L. 2018. A novel gaseous chlorine dioxide generating method utilizing carbon dioxide and moisture respired from tomato for Salmonella inactivation. Food Control. 89:54-61.

Interpretive Summary: Fresh produce composes a large part of a healthy diet with annual sales exceeding $100 billion in the U.S. market or 300 pounds per capita. The consumption of fresh produce though raises safety concerns; and thus, highly efficient technologies to limit bacterial growth on fresh produce are necessary. Chlorine dioxide (CD), used in aqueous solution, has been applied in sanitation of fresh produce for decades. The effectiveness of aqueous CD solution is limited because it is repelled by some produce and does not stay on the surface. To ensure that CD contacts the entire surface of produce when applied, researchers designed a sachet containing sodium chlorite. Sodium chlorite is converted to the gaseous form of CD when it comes in contact with moisture and carbon dioxide, which are also the products of tomato respiration. Experiments showed that when the sachet was placed in packages of tomatoes, the chemicals in the sachet generated gaseous CD and inhibited the growth of Salmonella on the surface of the tomato effectively without damaging its sensory profiles. This research successfully demonstrated the use of a simple delivery system for the release of gaseous CD to protect fresh produce from foodborne pathogen contamination.

Technical Abstract: Chlorine dioxide (ClO2) is a commonly used antimicrobial compound in fresh produce sanitation process. Compared to its aqueous form, gaseous ClO2 has exhibited an enhanced antimicrobial effectiveness. This research hypothesized a novel generating method of ClO2(g) that utilized two of the major respiration products (i.e. carbon dioxide and moisture) naturally released from tomato to react with sodium chlorite for ClO2(g) generation. Through three consecutive experiments, this hypothesis was successfully demonstrated, not only achieving complete inhibition effectiveness within 24 hrs against approximately 10(4) CFU Salmonella inoculated on the surface of tomato by the ClO2(g) generated, but also not significantly impacting its sensory profiles (i.e. surface color and firmness) within the entire storage (144 hrs) at 22 degrees C. The impact of different factors including NaClO(2) content (0.05, 0.1 and 0.2 g), CO2 content (7.5 and 15%), RH content (45 and 95%), temperature (10, 22 and 35 degrees C) and pH value (4, 5, 7 and 9) in the release profile of ClO2(g) was systematically investigated. D values of Salmonella under different temperatures and Z value were obtained. A sachet system of NaClO(2) was successfully developed for the practical applications of this novel ClO2(g) generating method.