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J Food Prot. 2014 Jul;77(7):1127-32. doi: 10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-13-554.

Antimicrobial activity of controlled-release chlorine dioxide gas on fresh blueberries.

Author information

1
Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan 48202, USA; U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory, 2001 South Rock Road, Fort Pierce, Florida 34945, USA.
2
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory, 2001 South Rock Road, Fort Pierce, Florida 34945, USA.
3
Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan 48202, USA.
4
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory, 2001 South Rock Road, Fort Pierce, Florida 34945, USA. jan.narciso@ars.usda.gov.
5
Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan 48202, USA. kzhou@wayne.edu.

Abstract

The effect of chlorine dioxide (ClO2) gas on the safety and quality of blueberries was studied. In vitro studies revealed that both ClO2 gas fumigation and ClO2 direct contact in water killed food pathogen bacterium Escherichia coli and fruit decay pathogen fungus Colletotrichum acutatum. In vivo studies were conducted using noninoculated berries and berries inoculated with postharvest decay and foodborne pathogens. Berries were inoculated with either E. coli (5.2 log CFU/g) or C. acutatum (3.9 log CFU/g). Inoculated fruit were dried for 2 h at room temperature in a climate-controlled laboratory and packed in perforated commercial clamshells, with or without ClO2 pads, and stored at 10°C for up to 9 days. The effects of ClO2 on microbial populations and fruit firmness were monitored during storage. In the inoculation experiment, treatment with ClO2 reduced populations of E. coli and C. acutatum by 2.2 to 3.3 and 1.3 to 2.0 log CFU/g, respectively. For the noninoculated blueberries, the initial total aerobic bacteria count and the yeast and mold count were 4.2 and 4.1 log CFU/g, respectively. ClO2 treatment reduced total aerobic bacteria count and yeast and mold count by 1.5 to 1.8 and 1.3 to 1.7 log CFU/g, respectively. The firmness of both inoculated and noninoculated blueberries was maintained by ClO2 treatment. Thus, controlled-release ClO2 gas fumigation technology shows promise as an effective and practical antimicrobial agent in commercial clamshell packaging of blueberry and other fruits.

PMID:
24988018
DOI:
10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-13-554
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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