Efficacy of electrolyzed oxidizing (EO) water combined with UV-C light or gas exchange on sanitization of Jalapeno pepper using Serratia marcesens as surrogate for Salmonella Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/6969z3692

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  • Jalapeño peppers are usually consumed raw and fresh with minimal processing. They contain antioxidants and bioactive compounds which are of human health benefits. There have been an increasing number of reports of foodborne outbreaks attributed to inaccessibility of sanitizers to Salmonella , E.coli and Listeria monocytogenes when embedded in fruit and vegetable surfaces. Furthermore, increasing sanitizer strength to compensate has been reported to impair the food quality attributes of the pepper fruit. The objectives of the first part of this project were 1) to investigate the efficacy of combining electrolyzed oxidizing(EO) water and ultraviolet (UV) light on the microbiological quality (both the surface and internalized) of fresh Jalapeño peppers, and 2) to examine the effect this combination on the shelf life and appearance of the treated Jalapeno pepper. The effects of varying contact times (10, 20 and 30 minutes) all through 10 days of storage study were documented. Serratia marcesens was used as the marker organism and as a surrogate for Salmonella . S. marcesens and yeasts showed a significant reduction (p=0.0044 and 0.0134 respectively) among all the treatments and control while the aerobic plate count (APC) and coliforms counts showed no significant response to treatments (p = 0.2568 and 0.3996 respectively). In addition, there was no significant difference in responses of the pepper to various contact times with EO water and storage times, though evident effects which varied among treatments were observed. Compared to control, all EO and UV treatments reduced contamination and had no negative impact on the color, texture and the final mass of pepper. Overall, peppers treated with and UV and EO water for 30 minutes gave the best microbial inhibition. The second part of the project focused on investigating the effect of gas exchange of Jalapeño pepper with nitrogen, oxygen and air on the uptake of EO water. The efficacy of EO water uptake in reducing surface and internalized S. marcesens and other native microflora was documented. In addition the post treatment effect of these treatment on the color, mass and texture of peppers was studied during 10 days of storage. Uptake of treatment solution was highest in oxygen exchanged peppers. Oxygen exchanged peppers gave the highest reduction in microbial count, yet maintaining their firmness and color. Overall, the results of this project suggest that EO water and UV reduced microbial contamination as well as preserved the quality of Jalapeño peppers. Also, gas exchanged enhanced uptake of treatment solution and significant reduction of both internalized and surface microbial contaminants without imparting the freshness of the pepper. The findings from this project provide important groundwork for exploring the potentials of combining UV light's antimicrobial effect with EO water for sanitization purposes. Moreover, enhancement of the uptake of treatment solution into fruits by gas exchange can be applied to reduce microorganisms lodged within the tissues of fruits and vegetable without risk of altering its physical attributes.
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