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Inactivation of Salmonella Typhimurium and quality preservation of cherry tomatoes by in-package aerosolization of antimicrobials

Jiang, Yunbin, Fan, Xuetong, Li, Xihong, Gurtler, Joshua B., Mukhopadhyay, Sudarsan, Jin, Tony
Food control 2017 v.73 pp. 411-420
Salmonella Typhimurium, acetic acid, anti-infective agents, antioxidants, ascorbic acid, cherry tomatoes, chlorine, color, firmness, fruit quality, lactic acid, levulinic acid, lycopene, methodology, odors, peracetic acid, sanitizers, storage time
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the efficacy of in-package aerosolized aqueous sanitizers in reducing populations of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium on tomato fruit and in maintaining fruit quality. Cherry tomatoes were inoculated with a cocktail of attenuated S. Typhimurium ATCC 53647 and 53648 strains on the smooth skin surface and stem scar area. Next, 200 ppm free chlorine, and peroxyacetic acid (PAA) and aqueous ClO2 at different concentrations, 2% lactic acid + 2% acetic acid + 2% levulinic acid, and 3% acetic acid + 3% lactic acid were aerosolized into a clamshell container containing cherry tomatoes. Results showed that S. Typhimurium populations on smooth tomato surfaces were reduced by more than 5 log CFU/fruit with 400 ppm PAA, 2% lactic acid + 2% acetic acid + 2% levulinic acid, 3% acetic acid + 3% lactic acid, and aqueous ClO2 (100 and 400 ppm). On the stem scar area, 400 ppm aqueous ClO2 was more effective in reducing S. Typhimurium populations than other treatments, achieving 4.89 log CFU/fruit reduction, followed by 400 ppm PAA (2.62 log CFU/fruit). The efficacy of ClO2 and acid combination treatments increased during 3-week storage at 10 °C, achieving >3 log CFU/fruit inactivation with the acid combination and ca. 6 log with for 400 ppm with ClO2. None of the treatments significantly (p > 0.05) affected color, appearance, firmness, vitamin C, lycopene or antioxidant values of tomatoes during 3 weeks of storage; although, an acidic odor was detected for samples treated with the organic acids in the earlier period of the storage. These results suggest that in-package aerosolized sanitizers can be used as a novel method for the inactivation of Salmonella on tomato fruit.