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Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2008 Jun;48(6):487-95. doi: 10.1080/10408390701638878.

Decontamination methods to prolong the shelf-life of minimally processed vegetables, state-of-the-art.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Food Microbiology and Food Preservation, Ghent University, Coupure Links 653 - 9000 Gent - Belgium. vicente.gomez@ciens.ucv.ve

Abstract

Minimally processed vegetables (MPV) are any fresh vegetables that have been physically altered from their original form, but remains in a fresh state. Microorganisms present in MPV can cause foodborne illnesses or spoilage; hence, decontamination of MPV can produce more stable products. The present review examines the difficulties to decontaminate and prolong the shelf-life of MPV, evaluating the current way of data analysis and interpretation. It addresses the different aspects of the problem of the accessibility of sanitizers to microorganisms (irregularities of produce surface, injuries, internalization, attachment, and biofilms). It also includes a critical exposition of the methodological problems to estimate the prolongation of shelf-life due to a decontamination method, namely: the variability among samples, the reproducibility of the results, and the interpolation when lacking some crucial data. Furthermore, it revises the difficulties to control the microbial loads of decontaminated MPV during storage (the enhanced growth rate of microorganisms in decontaminated MPV, the patterns of microbial growth in non decontaminated and decontaminated MPV, and the role of temperature in keeping the decontamination effect).

PMID:
18568855
DOI:
10.1080/10408390701638878
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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