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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2000 Mar;66(3):1077-83.

Growth of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in bruised apple (Malus domestica) tissue as influenced by cultivar, date of harvest, and source.

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1
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, Connecticut 06504, USA. Douglas.Dingman@po.state.ct.us

Abstract

Four of five apple cultivars (Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, McIntosh, Macoun, and Melrose) inoculated with Escherichia coli O157:H7 promoted growth of the bacterium in bruised tissue independent of the date of harvest (i.e., degree of apple ripening) or the source of the apple (i.e., tree-picked or dropped fruit). Apple harvest for this study began 4 September 1998 and ended 9 October, with weekly sampling. Throughout this study, freshly picked (<2 days after harvest) McIntosh apples usually prevented the growth of E. coli O157:H7 for 2 days. Growth of E. coli O157:H7 did occur following 6 days of incubation in bruised McIntosh apple tissue. However, the maximum total cell number was approximately 80-fold less than the maximum total cell number recovered from Red Delicious apples. When fruit was stored for 1 month at 4 degrees C prior to inoculation with E. coli O157:H7, all five cultivars supported growth of the bacterium. For each apple cultivar, the pH of bruised tissue was significantly higher and degrees Brix was significantly lower than the pH and degrees Brix of undamaged tissue regardless of the source. In freshly picked apples, changes in the pH did not occur over the harvest season. Bruised Golden Delicious, McIntosh, and Melrose apple tissue pHs were not significantly different (tree-picked or dropped), and the degrees Brix values of McIntosh, Macoun, and Melrose apple tissue were not significantly different. Single-cultivar preparations of cider did not support growth of E. coli, and the cell concentration of inoculated cider declined over an 11-day test period. The rate of decline in E. coli cell concentration in the McIntosh cider was greater than those in the other ciders tested. The findings of this study suggested that the presence of some factor besides, or in addition to, pH inhibited E. coli growth in McIntosh apples.

PMID:
10698774
PMCID:
PMC91945
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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