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Slow-release chlorine dioxide gas treatment as a means to reduce Salmonella contamination on spices

Golden, Chase E., Berrang, Mark E., Kerr, William L., Harrison, Mark A.
Innovative food science & emerging technologies 2019 v.52 pp. 256-261
Salmonella enterica, black pepper, chlorine dioxide, cumin, food industry, food safety, sesame seed, storage time
Salmonella enterica is a major food safety issue for the spice industry. Slow-releasing chlorine dioxide (ClO2) gas from self-contained sachets, which can be employed in a small-scale operation, was evaluated for its effectiveness in reducing Salmonella contamination on black pepper, cumin, and sesame seed. Three levels of chlorine dioxide gas (100, 200, or 500 mg ClO2/kg spice) were applied to Salmonella-inoculated spices. Spices were sampled immediately after treatment, and at 1, 10, and 30-days post-treatment. The combined effect of ClO2 gas treatment and storage time on Salmonella numbers on spices was evaluated. Salmonella reductions on black pepper, cumin, and sesame seed samples ranged from 0.81 to 2.74 log CFU/g after ClO2 treatment. Storage time also had a significant impact on Salmonella numbers, as numbers decreased by up to 2.50 log CFU/g over 30 days of storage. Self-contained ClO2 releasing sachets could provide small food processors a post-lethality treatment alternative for spices.