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Quality attributes and microbial survival on whole cantaloupes with antimicrobial coatings containing chitosan, lauric arginate, cinnamon oil and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid

Ma, Qiumin, Zhang, Yue, Critzer, Faith, Davidson, P. Michael, Zhong, Qixin
International journal of food microbiology 2016 v.235 pp. 103-108
EDTA (chelating agent), Escherichia coli O157, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella enterica, cantaloupes, chitosan, cinnamon oil, coatings, detection limit, firmness, food pathogens, microbiological quality, molds (fungi), total soluble solids, weight loss, yeasts
Cantaloupes are susceptible to microbiological contamination in pre- or postharvest environments. Novel intervention strategies, such as antimicrobial coatings, are needed to improve the microbiological safety of cantaloupes. The objective of this study was to prepare whole cantaloupes coated with mixtures containing chitosan, lauric arginate (LAE), cinnamon oil (CO), and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) and determine survival characteristics of inoculated foodborne pathogens during storage as well as cantaloupe quality attributes. Chitosan coating with 0.1% LAE, 0.1% EDTA, and 1% CO was the most effective for inactivating foodborne pathogens inoculated on cantaloupes. This coating caused a >3logCFU/cm2 reduction of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes immediately after coating and reduced Salmonella enterica to below the detection limit during a 14-day storage. Total molds and yeasts also were reduced to the detection limit by the coating. The redness and yellowness of uncoated cantaloupes were significantly higher than coated ones from day 6. The firmness of uncoated cantaloupes and those coated with chitosan only was significantly lower than other treatments from day 10. No significant differences were found in total soluble solids content or weight loss between coated and uncoated cantaloupes. Results showed the potential benefits of applying the coating mixtures to improve the quality and microbiological safety of cantaloupes.