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Effects of low-dose gamma irradiation and conventional treatments on shelf life and quality characteristics of diced celery

Prakash, A., Inthajak, P., Huibregtse, H., Caporaso, F., Foley, D.M.
Journal of food science 2000 v.65 no.6 pp. 1070-1075
celery, gamma radiation, irradiation, dosage, shelf life, food storage, sensory evaluation, food quality, acidification, chlorine, blanching, postharvest treatment, microorganisms, microbial contamination, Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli, color, odors
The effects of 0.5 and 1.0 kGy gamma irradiation on microbial and sensory characteristics of diced celery were compared to conventional treatments such as acidification, blanching, and chlorination. Aerobic plate counts for the irradiated celery did not exceed 10(7) CFU/g, in contrast, the acidified, blanched, chlorinated, and control samples surpassed aerobic microbial counts of 10(8) CFU/g in 22, 19, 12, and 8 d, respectively. Importantly, the 1.0-kGy treatment eliminated inoculated Listeria monocytogenes and E. coli. While the acidified and blanched samples had significantly different sensory profiles compared to the other treatments, the irradiated samples maintained their color, texture, and aroma longer and were preferred in the sensory tests. The sensory shelf life of the 1.0-kGy-treated celery was 29 d compared to 22 d for the control, chlorinated, and 0.5 kGy, and 15 d for the acidified and blanched celery.