Sea C. Min et al., Food Microbiology, Volume 65, August 2017
Dielectric barrier discharge atmospheric cold plasma (DACP) treatment was evaluated for the inactivation of Escherichia coli O157:H7, surface morphology, color, carbon dioxide generation, and weight loss of bulk Romaine lettuce in a commercial plastic clamshell container.
The lettuce samples were packed in a model bulk packaging configuration (three rows with either 1, 3, 5, or 7 layers) in the container and treated by DACP (42.6 kV, 10 min).
DACP treatment reduced the number of E. coli O157:H7 in the leaf samples in the 1-, 3-, and 5-layer configurations by 0.4–0.8 log CFU/g lettuce, with no significant correlation to the sample location (P > 0.05). In the largest bulk stacking with 7 layers, a greater degree of reduction (1.1 log CFU/g lettuce) was observed at the top layer, but shaking the container increased the uniformity of the inhibition.
DACP did not significantly change the surface morphology, color, respiration rate, or weight loss of the samples, nor did these properties differ significantly according to their location in the bulk stack.
DACP treatment inhibited E. coli O157:H7 on bulk lettuce in clamshell containers in a uniform manner, without affecting the physical and biological properties and thus holds promise as a post-packaging process for fresh and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables.
Sea C. Min, Si Hyeon Roh, Brendan A. Niemira, Glenn Boyd, Joseph E. Sites, Joseph Uknalis, Xuetong Fan, In-package inhibition of E. coli O157:H7 on bulk Romaine lettuce using cold plasma, Food Microbiology, Volume 65, August 2017, Pages 1-6, ISSN 0740-0020, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fm.2017.01.010.
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