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Effect of low-dose irradiation on shelf life and microbiological safety of sliced carrot

Kamat, A.S., Ghadge, N., Ramamurthy, M.S., Alur, M.D.
Journal of the science of food and agriculture 2005 v.85 no.13 pp. 2213-2219
carrots, raw vegetables, minimally processed foods, fresh-cut foods, food irradiation, gamma radiation, shelf life, food contamination, bacterial contamination, food pathogens, Escherichia coli, Yersinia enterocolitica, Listeria monocytogenes, food safety, decontamination, coliform bacteria, molds (fungi), food storage, food nutrient losses, sucrose, carotenes, ascorbic acid
Minimally processed non-irradiated carrots (sliced) exhibited diverse microflora at initial level. During storage, bacterial number increased with the presence of pathogenic bacteria accompanied by a loss of total solids. On the other hand gamma-irradiation at an optimal dose of 2 kGy offered a pathogen-free, hygienic product with insignificant losses in nutrients such as in sucrose, total carotenes and ascorbic acid content in comparison to controls and 2- to 4-fold increased in shelf-life at refrigeration temperature. The D10 values of pathogens like Escherichia coli and Yersinia enterocolitica in carrot paste were in a lower range (0.12-0.26 kGy) compared with that of Listeria monocytogenes (0.3-0.5 kGy). The validity of the processing treatment (2 kGy) was challenged by artificially inoculating Listeria monocytogenes in the product. Thus, minimally processed carrots (sliced) are amenable to radiation treatment for extended storage stability and microbial safety.