Submitted to: International Association for Food Protection
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2018
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Introduction: Berry fruits are prone to contamination with pathogenic human viruses due to irrigation with non-potable water sources, and in some cases non-hygienic manual picking. These viruses are very difficult to inactivate. Here we show that gaseous chlorine dioxide can inactivate a human norovirus surrogate on the surface of blueberries. Purpose: To determine the effectiveness of gaseous chlorine dioxide against a human norovirus surrogate on produce Methods: Gaseous chlorine dioxide was produced by acidifying sodium chlorite solution used to treat Tulane virus-coated blueberries in a 240 ml treatment chamber. Results: Initial assessments indicated that blueberries treated with gaseous Chlorine dioxide generated from less than or equal to 1 mg acidified sodium chlorite in the small chamber appeared unaffected while greater than 10 mg of acidified sodium chlorite altered the appearance and quality of the blueberries. Treatments of inoculated blueberries with gaseous chlorine dioxide generated from 0.1 mg sodium chlorite reduced the virus populations by more than 1 log after exposure for 30 to 330 min. For the 1 mg sodium chlorite treatments, the virus populations were reduced by more than 2.2 log after 15 min exposure and to non-detectable levels (more than 3.3 logs reductions) after 180 min exposure. Measured concentrations of gaseous chlorine dioxide peaked in the treatment chamber at 0.9 micrograms per liter after 10 min for 0.1 mg treatments and 600 micrograms per liter after 20 min for 1 mg treatments. Significance: Overall results indicate that gaseous chlorine dioxide could be a feasible waterless intervention for blueberries and other produce. Once evaluated in larger scale for its efficacy and for product quality attributes, this dry non-thermal intervention technology should be widely accepted by industry.