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Viable bacterial population and persistence of foodborne pathogens on the pear carpoplane

Duvenage, Francois J, Duvenage, Stacey, Du Plessis, Erika M, Volschenk, Quinton, Korsten, Lise
Journal of the science of food and agriculture 2017 v.97 no.4 pp. 1185-1192
Bacillaceae, Listeria monocytogenes, Microbacteriaceae, Pseudomonadaceae, Salmonella, bacteria, chlorine, controlled atmosphere storage, farms, food pathogens, food safety, management systems, microbial load, orchards, pears, postharvest technology, species diversity
BACKGROUND: Knowledge on the culturable bacteria and foodborne pathogen presence on pears is important for understanding the impact of postharvest practices on food safety assurance. Pear fruit bacteria were investigated from the point of harvest, following chlorine drenching and after controlled atmosphere (CA) storage to assess the impact on natural bacterial populations and potential foodborne pathogens. RESULTS: Salmonella spp. and Listeria monocytogenes were detected on freshly harvested fruit in season one. During season one, chemical drenching and CA storage did not have a significant effect on the bacterial load of orchard pears, except for two farms where the populations were lower ‘after CA storage’. During season two, bacterial populations of orchard pears from three of the four farms increased significantly following drenching; however, the bacterial load decreased ‘after CA storage’. Bacteria isolated following enumeration included Enterobacteriaceae, Microbacteriaceae, Pseudomonadaceae and Bacillaceae, with richness decreasing ‘after drench’ and ‘after CA storage’. CONCLUSION: Salmonella spp. and L. monocytogenes were not detected after postharvest practices. Postharvest practices resulted in decreased bacterial species richness. Understanding how postharvest practices have an impact on the viable bacterial populations of pear fruit will contribute to the development of crop‐specific management systems for food safety assurance. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry