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Food Microbiol. 2008 May;25(3):479-91. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2008 Jan 20.

Combination of high-intensity pulsed electric fields with natural antimicrobials to inactivate pathogenic microorganisms and extend the shelf-life of melon and watermelon juices.

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Department of Food Technology, University of Lleida, UTPV-CeRTA, Av. Alcalde Rovira Roure 191, 25198 Lleida, Spain.


The effect of high-intensity pulsed electric field (HIPEF) combined with citric acid (0.5-2.0%, w/v) or cinnamon bark oil (0.05-0.30%, w/v) against populations of Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella Enteritidis and Listeria monocytogenes in melon and watermelon juices were evaluated. Microbiological shelf-life and sensory attributes were also determined. Populations of E. coli O157:H7, S. Enteritidis and L. monocytogenes were reduced by more than 5.0log(10)CFU/ml in HIPEF-processed melon (35kV/cm for 1709 micros at 193Hz and 4 micros pulse duration) and watermelon (35kV/cm for 1682 micros at 193Hz and 4 micros pulse duration) juices containing 2.0% and 1.5% of citric acid, respectively, or 0.2% of cinnamon bark oil. In addition, these treatments were also able to inactivate mesophilic, psychrophilic and, molds and yeasts populations, leading to a shelf-life of more than 91 days in both juices stored at 5 degrees C. Hence, the microbiological quality and safety of these fruit juices by combining HIPEF and citric acid or cinnamon bark oil were ensured. However, the taste and odor in those HIPEF-treated melon and watermelon juices containing antimicrobials were significantly affected. Therefore, further studies are needed to decrease the impact on the sensory attributes by using antimicrobials.

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