Submitted to: Food Control
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/9/2020
Publication Date: 5/11/2020
Citation: Song, Y., Annous, B.A., Fan, X. 2020. Cold plasma-activated hydrogen peroxide aerosol on populations of Salmonella Typhimurium and Listeria innocua and quality changes of apple, tomato and cantaloupe during storage - a pilot scale study. Food Control. 117. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2020.107358.
Interpretive Summary: The occurrence of foodborne illness outbreaks associated with fresh fruits and vegetables continues to be a major concern. We previously demonstrated in laboratory scaled studies that cold plasma-activated hydrogen peroxide aerosols reduced bacterial populations on a number of fresh fruits and vegetables. However, the technology has not been tested in a large scale and its impact on the shelf-life of fresh produce has not been evaluated. Therefore, a pilot-scaled study was conducted to inactivate Salmonella and Listeria on apples, tomatoes and cantaloupes, and to depict the effect on various quality attributes of the fruits during 14 day of storage at 17 deg C. Results revealed that the efficacy of the activated hydrogen peroxide depended on the location of inoculated bacteria and the configuration of fruits in the stacked crates. Appearance, color, texture, pH, soluble solids content, ascorbic acid, and antioxidants of the fresh produce items were maintained. The study provides valuable information and identifies factors to be considered for commercial application of the technology.
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.