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Efficacy of organic acid electrostatic spray for decontaminating Salmonella on cantaloupe cubes and cherry tomatoes

Massey, Leighanna M., Hettiarachchy, Navam S., Horax, Ronny, Rayaprolu, Srinivas J., Kumar‐Phillips, Geetha, Martin, Elizabeth M., Ricke, Steven C.
Journal of food processing and preservation 2018 v.42 no.10
Salmonella Typhimurium, antimicrobial properties, cantaloupes, cherry tomatoes, color, commercialization, foodborne illness, fresh-cut produce, lactic acid, malic acid, spraying, storage temperature, texture
The effect of organic acid electrostatic spraying on Salmonella Typhimurium inoculated fresh produces and their texture and color changes was evaluated. Inoculated cantaloupe cubes and cherry tomatoes were electrostatically sprayed with varying concentrations of malic and lactic acids and monitored over 11‐day storage at 4°C. Malic acid (4%) could significantly reduce Salmonella growth on cantaloupe cubes up to 2.6‐log CFU/g by electrostatic spraying and only 0.9‐log CFU/g by conventional spraying (p < 0.05). However, there was no significant difference (p > 0.05) using both methods in the log numbers of Salmonella survived on cherry tomatoes over 11‐day storage. The electrostatic spraying treatments did not cause much effect on the color and texture of the produce samples. These findings suggest that the safety of fresh and fresh‐cut produce may be enhanced using malic acid or combined with lactic acid applied by an electrostatic spraying system. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: The current study illustrates the importance of natural antimicrobial organic acids that can minimize pathogenic Salmonella contaminations on fruits and vegetables. Electrostatic spray method reduces loss of treatment solutions while enhancing their antimicrobial activity without affecting their texture and color. This can lead to commercialization of the technology which can protect consumers from food‐borne illnesses due to contaminations.