Submitted to: International Journal of Food Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/11/2019
Publication Date: 10/16/2019
Citation: Fan, X., Sokorai, K., Gurtler, J. 2019. Advanced oxidation process for the inactivation of Salmonella Typhimurium on tomatoes by combination of gaseous ozone and aerosolized hydrogen peroxide. International Journal of Food Microbiology. 312. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2019.108387.
Interpretive Summary: Washing with chemical sanitizers, such as chlorine, is commonly used to minimize cross-contamination and risk of pathogens on fresh produce. However, washing with sanitizers has limited effectiveness in inactivating pathogens on fresh produce, partially due to microorganisms often residing in crevices, stem scars and other protective sites. In the present study, we utilized the advanced oxidation process which produces reactive hydroxyl radicals by combining two FDA approved sanitizers in gaseous/aerosolized forms. Results showed that the combination of gaseous ozone and aerosolized hydrogen peroxide yielded much higher reductions of Salmonella on tomatoes than either treatment alone. The research provides the fresh produce industry a more effective method to minimize the risk of pathogen contamination.
Technical Abstract: Fresh produce-associated outbreaks of foodborne illnesses continue occurring every year in the U.S., suggesting limitations of current practice and the need for effective intervention technologies. Advanced oxidation process involves production of hydrogen radicals, which are the strongest oxidant. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness of advanced oxidation process by combining gaseous ozone and aerosolized hydrogen peroxide. Grape tomatoes were inoculated with a 2-strain cocktail of Salmonella Typhimurium on both stem scar and smooth surface. Gaseous ozone (800 and 1,600 ppm) and aerosolized hydrogen peroxide (2.5, 5 and 10%) were separately or simultaneously introduced into a treatment chamber where the inoculated tomatoes were placed. During the 30 min treatments, hydrogen peroxide was aerosolized using an atomizer operated in two modes: continuously or 15 sec on/50 sec off. After the treatments, surviving Salmonella on the smooth surface and stem scar were enumerated. Results showed that ozone alone reduced Salmonella populations by less than 0.6 log CFU/fruit on both the smooth surface and the stem scar area, and aerosolized hydrogen peroxide alone reduced the populations by up to 2.1 log CFU/fruit on the smooth surface and 0.8 log CFU/fruit on stem scar area. However, the combination treatments reduced the populations by up to 5.2 log CFU /fruit on smooth surface and 4.5 log CFU/fruit on the stem scar. Overall, our results demonstrate that gaseous ozone and aerosolized hydrogen peroxide have synergistic effects on the reduction of Salmonella populations on tomatoes.