Submitted to: International Fresh Cut Produce Association Annual Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/30/2020
Publication Date: 9/7/2021
Citation: Fan, X., Mukhopadhyay, S., Jin, Z.T. 2021. Postharvest intervention technologies to enhance microbial safety of fresh and fresh-cut produce. International Fresh Cut Produce Association Annual Conference. Acta Hortic. 1319. ISHS 2021. https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1319.3.
Technical Abstract: Fresh and fresh-cut produce is frequently found to be associated with outbreaks of foodborne diseases. Contamination can occur in the field and during postharvest handling. Therefore, there is a need to develop intervention technologies and antimicrobial treatments to ensure the microbial safety of fresh and fresh-cut produce considering the products are eaten raw. Postharvest washing with chemical sanitizers, a common practice of the industry, has limited effectiveness in inactivating human foodborne pathogens on fresh and fresh-cut produce. Furthermore, washing is also regarded as a possible cross-contamination step. This article reviewed chemical interventions and a range of alternative technologies and treatments including non-thermal and biological methods such as irradiation, ultraviolet and pulsed lights, gaseous antimicrobials (ozone and chlorine dioxide), cold plasma, advanced oxidation process, bacteriophage and antagonistic bacteria. The effectiveness of each technology in terms of antimicrobial efficacy is briefly described.