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Effects of Quillaja saponaria extract and Nα-lauroyl-l-arginine ethyl ester on reducing selected foodborne pathogens in vitro and maintaining quality of fresh-cut endive (Cichorium endivia L.) at pilot plant scale

Nübling, Simone, Hägele, Florian, Wohlt, Daria, Graf, Britta, Schweiggert, Ralf M., Carle, Reinhold, Schmidt, Herbert, Weiss, Agnes
Food control 2017 v.73 pp. 393-400
Bacillus cereus, Cichorium endivia, Listeria monocytogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Quillaja saponaria, Salmonella enterica, Staphylococcus aureus, additives, antibacterial properties, carbon dioxide, chlorophyll, cold storage, cross contamination, endive, enzyme activity, food pathogens, fresh-cut produce, headspace analysis, lettuce, microbial load, minimum inhibitory concentration, nitrates, nitrites, oxygen, phenylalanine ammonia-lyase, sensory properties, storage temperature, washing, water
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the applicability of Quillaja saponaria extract (QSE) and Nα-lauroyl-l-arginine ethyl ester (LAE) as antimicrobial wash water additives in fresh-cut lettuce processing. Antibacterial activities of LAE and QSE against selected strains of the foodborne pathogens Salmonella enterica, Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Listeria monocytogenes were examined in vitro. Minimum inhibitory concentrations determined by broth microdilution assay demonstrated that LAE exhibited a strong antimicrobial activity with MICs between 4 and 32 μg/mL against all tested strains, whereas QSE showed a weaker antimicrobial activity with MICs >512 μg/mL. On a pilot-plant scale, the effects of warm water washing at 45 °C for 120 s with and without 40 mg/L QSE or 100 mg/L LAE as well as cold water washing at 4 °C for 120 s with QSE or LAE, respectively, of shredded endive (Cichorium endivia L.) were investigated regarding microbiological and sensory quality as well as physiological properties. Samples were analyzed for headspace O2 and CO2 levels, phenylalanine-ammonia-lyase activity and contents of nitrite and nitrate during nine days of cold storage at 4 °C. By analogy to its antimicrobial effect against the foodborne pathogens in vitro, LAE allowed up to 4 log10 cfu/mL reduction of the microbial load in the washing water of the pilot plant, and might therefore reduce cross-contamination while saving water. The addition of LAE to warm washing water impaired sensory properties of fresh-cut endive during storage, which was predicted by chlorophyll fluorescence imaging analyses. QSE treatment combined with warm water washing best retained sensory appearance throughout our study, being possibly suitable for the production of premium products.