Jump to Main Content
Dielectric barrier discharge atmospheric cold plasma inhibits Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, and Tulane virus in Romaine lettuce
- Min, Sea C., Roh, Si Hyeon, Niemira, Brendan A., Sites, Joseph E., Boyd, Glenn, Lacombe, Alison
- International journal of food microbiology 2016 v.237 pp. 114-120
- Escherichia coli O157, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, bacteria, cold, cold storage, decontamination, leaves, nylon, oxygen, packaging, pathogens, polyethylene, romaine lettuce, viruses, volatilization
- The present study investigated the effects of dielectric barrier discharge atmospheric cold plasma (DACP) treatment on the inactivation of Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, and Tulane virus (TV) on Romaine lettuce, assessing the influences of moisture vaporization, modified atmospheric packaging (MAP), and post-treatment storage on the inactivation of these pathogens. Romaine lettuce was inoculated with E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, L. monocytogenes (~6logCFU/g lettuce), or TV (~2logPFU/g lettuce) and packaged in either a Petri dish (diameter: 150mm, height: 15mm) or a Nylon/polyethylene pouch (152×254mm) with and without moisture vaporization. Additionally, a subset of pouch-packaged leaves was flushed with O2 at 5% or 10% (balance N2). All of the packaged lettuce samples were treated with DACP at 34.8kV for 5min and then analyzed either immediately or following post-treatment storage for 24h at 4°C to assess the inhibition of microorganisms. DACP treatment inhibited E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, L. monocytogenes, and TV by 1.1±0.4, 0.4±0.3, 1.0±0.5logCFU/g, and 1.3±0.1logPFU/g, respectively, without environmental modifications of moisture or gas in the packages. The inhibition of the bacteria was not significantly affected by packaging type or moisture vaporization (p>0.05) but a reduced-oxygen MAP gas composition attenuated the inhibition rates of E. coli O157:H7 and TV. L. monocytogenes continued to decline by an additional 0.6logCFU/g in post-treatment cold storage for 24h. Additionally, both rigid and flexible conventional plastic packages appear to be suitable for the in-package decontamination of lettuce with DACP.