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A meta-analysis on the effectiveness of electrolyzed water treatments in reducing foodborne pathogens on different foods

Afari, George Kwabena, Hung, Yen-Con
Food control 2018 v.93 pp. 150-164
Escherichia coli O157, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, animal-based foods, chlorine, eggs, electrolyzed water, fish, food pathogens, food safety, lettuce, meat, meta-analysis, models, poultry, quantitative risk assessment, sanitizers, sodium hypochlorite, systematic review, temperature, tomatoes
The aim of this meta-analysis was to develop an overall estimate of the pathogen reductions achieved when food products are treated with electrolyzed (EO) water. A literature search and systematic review was conducted to identify EO water intervention studies to reduce Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes on poultry, eggs, meat, fish and produce. Pathogen reduction data from the included studies were utilized in the estimation of effect sizes (mean log reductions) and heterogeneity assessment between studies (I2). Twenty-seven studies (294 observations) were obtained and the sanitizers identified as controls were water and sodium hypochlorite. Summary effects of 0.66, 1.12, 1.15, 2.41, 4.45 and 5.34 log reductions were estimated for EO water treatments on poultry, fish, meats, lettuce, eggs and tomatoes, respectively. Highest reductions were estimated for smooth-surfaced foods (eggs, tomatoes) while pathogen reductions were lower on muscle foods. I2 ranged between 60 and 99%, indicating high heterogeneity and necessitating the use of meta-regressions to assess the variations. Free chlorine concentration (FCC), time and temperature were significant variables (p < 0.05) in estimating EO water effectiveness, although no single variable was significant for all the products. The developed meta-regression models were applied to a selected treatment condition (30 mg/L FCC, 20° C, 3 min) to attain 2.09, 5.27, 0.87 and 4.91 predicted log reductions on lettuce, tomatoes, meats and eggs, respectively. This analysis provides a precise estimate of the inactivation effect of EO water on different foods that can be applied in quantitative risk assessments for ensuring food safety.