Research – Inactivation of Nonpathogenic Escherichia coli, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella enterica Typhimurium, and Listeria monocytogenes in Ice Using a UVC Light-Emitting Diode

Journal Food Protection

Ice, widely used in the food industry, is a potential cause of food poisoning resulting from microbial contamination. Direct microbial inactivation of ice is necessary because microorganisms may have been present in the source water used to make it and/or may have been introduced due to poor hygiene during production or handling of the ice. Nonthermal and nondestructive microbial inactivation technologies are needed to control microorganisms in ice. We evaluated the applicability of a UVC light-emitting diode (UVC-LED) for microbial inactivation in ice. The effects of UV intensity and UV dose of the UVC-LED on Escherichia coli ATCC 25922 and a comparison of UVC-LED with a conventional UV lamp for effective bacterial inactivation in distilled water and ice cubes were investigated to evaluate the performance of the UVC-LED. Finally, we assessed the effects of the UVC-LED on pathogens such as E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella Typhimurium, and Listeria monocytogenes in ice cubes. The results indicated that UVC-LED effectiveness depended on the UV dose at all UV intensity conditions (0.084, 0.025, 0.013, 0.007, and 0.005 mW/cm2) in ice and that UVC-LED could more efficiently inactivate E. coli ATCC 25922 in distilled water and ice than the UV lamp. At a UV dose of 2.64 mJ/cm2, E. coli in distilled water was decreased by 0.90 log CFU/mL (UV lamp) and by more than 7.0 log CFU/mL (UVC-LED). At 15.2 mJ/cm2, E. coli in ice was decreased by 3.18 log CFU/mL (UV lamp) and by 4.45 CFU/mL (UVC-LED). Furthermore, UVC-LED irradiation reduced the viable number of pathogens by 6 to 7 log cycles at 160 mJ/cm2, although the bactericidal effect was somewhat dependent on the type of bacteria. L. monocytogenes in ice was relatively more sensitive to UVC irradiation than were E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella Typhimurium. These results demonstrate that UVC-LED irradiation could contribute to the safety of ice in the food industry.

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