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Gaseous Antimicrobials to Enhance Microbial Food Safety

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Session 039
Sunday, July 12; 1:30–3:00 p.m.
Room S402

Consumption of fresh and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables in the United States has been steadily increasing over the past decade. Unfortunately, the increasing consumption of fresh produce is accompanied with an increase in the number of outbreaks and recalls due to contamination with human pathogens. Currently, the fresh produce industry is relying mostly on aqueous sanitizers such as chlorine solutions. However, pathogens on the surface of fresh fruits and vegetables may reside in protected sites such as crevices, stomata, or cracks that aqueous sanitizers cannot reach.

Fruit and VegetablesGaseous antimicrobials may be more effective in reaching such sites. Furthermore, gaseous antimicrobials tend to dissolve in wound sites on fruits and vegetables, and microbes in those areas are likely to be inactivated, which makes gaseous application of antimicrobials attractive for fresh-cut produce applications. This session will review the traditional gaseous antimicrobials such as ClO2 and ozone. Another way of generating vaporous antimicrobials is to vaporize or aerosolize antimicrobials. Ethyl pyruvate, essential oils, nitric oxide will be discussed. The application of gaseous/vaporous and aerosolized technologies inside a sealed package will also be discussed. In each presentation, the challenges and opportunities for commercial application will be addressed. The effect on microbial reduction and produce quality will be discussed as well.

Presented by: Vivian Wu, Univ. of Maine; Randy Worobo, Cornell Univ.; Tony Jin, USDA-ARS; Xuetong Fan, USDA-ARS; Christopher Doona, U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center

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