Research – Bacterial Spore Inactivation in Orange Juice and Orange Peel by Ultraviolet-C Light


Spore-forming bacteria are a great concern for fruit juice processors as they can resist the thermal pasteurization and the high hydrostatic pressure treatments that fruit juices receive during their processing, thus reducing their microbiological quality and safety. In this context, our objective was to evaluate the efficacy of Ultraviolet-C (UV-C) light at 254 nm on reducing bacterial spores of Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestrisBacillus coagulans and Bacillus cereus at two stages of orange juice production. To simulate fruit disinfection before processing, the orange peel was artificially inoculated with each of the bacterial spores and submitted to UV-C light (97.8–100.1 W/m2) with treatment times between 3 s and 10 min. The obtained product, the orange juice, was also tested by exposing the artificially inoculated juice to UV-C light (100.9–107.9 W/m2) between 5 and 60 min. A three-minute treatment (18.0 kJ/m2) reduced spore numbers on orange peel around 2 log units, while more than 45 min (278.8 kJ/m2) were needed to achieve the same reduction in orange juice for all evaluated bacterial spores. As raw fruits are the main source of bacterial spores in fruit juices, reducing bacterial spores on fruit peels could help fruit juice processors to enhance the microbiological quality and safety of fruit juices. View Full-Text

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