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Acceptability of lettuce treated with a lactic and hydrogen peroxide antibacterial solution

McWatters, K.H., Hashim, I.B., Walker, S.L., Doyle, M.P., Rimal, A.P.
Journal of food quality 2002 v.25 no.3 pp. 223-242
food acceptability, food preservation, lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide, solutions, antibacterial properties, chemical treatment, sodium bicarbonate, neutralization, food contamination, microbial contamination, Escherichia coli, Salmonella enteritidis, Listeria monocytogenes, inactivation, sensory evaluation, food quality, color, consumer surveys, food storage, food purchasing, food handling, consumer attitudes, lettuce
Whole iceberg lettuce heads were treated with 1.5% lactic acid plus 2.0% hydrogen peroxide solution (antibacterial solution) at 22 degrees C for 5 min. They were then either rinsed by immersing in running tap water for 5 min or neutralized with 2.5% sodium bicarbonate solution at 22 degrees C for 5 min followed by rinsing (immersion in running tap water) for 10 min, draining, and storing in sealed plastic containers at 5 degrees C for 0, 6, and 10 days along with untreated controls. The antibacterial treatment resulted in marginally acceptable lettuce at day 0; neutralization resulted in acceptable lettuce at day 0 but unacceptable after 6 and 10 days. Consumers indicated willingness to purchase an antibacterial solution to treat lettuce at home as well as lettuce pretreated at the packinghouse/processing plant; they were willing to pay at least 3 to 5 cents more per head for pretreated lettuce. Antibacterial treatment plus neutralization provided acceptable lettuce if used in less than 6 days.