Ultrasonication enhanced low concentration electrolyzed water efficacy on bacteria inactivation and shelf life extension on lettuce
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Effect of ultrasonication (40 kHz) to enhance low concentration electrolyzed water (LcEW) efficacy for microbial decontamination on lettuce leaves was investigated. Lettuce was separately treated with LcEW, ultrasonication, LcEW combined with ultrasonication, LcEW followed by ultrasonication, and ultrasonication followed by LcEW for 1, 3, and 5 min for each step at room temperature. The highest reduction (2.3 log CFU/g) in total bacteria count (TBC) was resulted from ultrasonication followed by LcEW. Subsequently, the effect of temperature was studied resulting in 2.6 and 3.18 log CFU/g reduction of TBC and Escherichia coli O157:H7 respectively, in 3 min ultrasonication followed by 3 min LcEW treatment at 40°C. This optimum treatment also prevented lettuce from reaching 7.0 log CFU/g in TBC until the end of the 6 day storage at 10°C. Therefore, this newly developed approach may result in improved microbiological safety and enhanced shelf life of produce.
Keywordsultrasonication low concentration electrolyzed water bacterial population shelf life lettuce
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