5 years ago

Application of water-assisted ultraviolet light in combination of chlorine and hydrogen peroxide to inactivate Salmonella on fresh produce

With the demand for fresh produce increases in recent decades, concerns for microbiological safety of fresh produce are also raised. To identify effective ultraviolet (UV) light treatment for fresh produce decontamination, we first determined the effect of three forms of UV treatment, dry UV (samples were treated by UV directly), wet UV (samples were dipped in water briefly and then exposed to UV), and water-assisted UV (samples were treated by UV while being immersed in agitated water) on inactivation of Salmonella inoculated on tomatoes and fresh-cut lettuce. In general, the water-assisted UV treatment was found to be the most effective for both produce items. Chlorine and hydrogen peroxide were then tested to determine whether they could be used to enhance the decontamination efficacy of water-assisted UV treatment and prevent transfer of Salmonella via wash water by completely eliminating it. Neither of them significantly enhanced water-assisted UV inactivation of Salmonella on tomatoes. Chlorine significantly improved the decontamination effectiveness of the water-assisted UV treatment for baby-cut carrots and lettuce, but not for spinach. In general, the single water-assisted UV treatment and the combined treatment of water-assisted UV and chlorine were similar or more effective than the chlorine washing treatment. In most of the cases, no Salmonella was detected in the wash water when the single water-assisted UV treatment was used to decontaminate tomatoes. In a few cases when Salmonella was detected in the wash water, the populations were very low,2CFU/mL, and the wash water contained an extremely high level of organic load and soil level. Therefore, the single water-assisted UV treatment could potentially be used as an environmentally friendly and non-chemical alternative to chlorine washing for tomatoes after validation in industrial scale. For lettuce, spinach and baby-cut carrots, the combined treatment of water-assisted UV treatment and chlorine was needed to maintain a pathogen free environment in the wash water so that cross contamination could be prevented during fresh produce washing.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0168160517302854

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