Research – Combined Hurdle Technologies Using UVC Waterproof LED for Inactivating Foodborne Pathogens on Fresh-Cut Fruits

MDPI

This study investigated the combined bactericidal efficacy of slightly acidic electrolyzed water (SAEW), fumaric acid (FA), and ultravioletC waterproof light-emitting diodes (UVC W-LED) for the control of Staphylococcus aureus and Listeria monocytogenes in fresh-cut fruits. Cherry tomato, grape, apple, and pineapple were inoculated with S. aureus and L. monocytogenes and then washed with 30 ppm SAEW containing 0.5% FA in a container equipped with two UVC W-LEDs. Behaviors of S. aureus and L. monocytogenes and quality properties of fresh-cut fruits were monitored after storage at 10 °C and 15 °C for 7 days. The most effective reductions of S. aureus (1.65 log CFU/g) and L. monocytogenes (2.63 log CFU/g) were observed in the group with the combined treatment of SAEW + FA and UVC W-LED. At 10 °C and 15 °C, populations of both pathogens in the combined treatment group were lower than those in a control. Combined treatment showed no negative effect on moisture retention in the fruit. Moreover, visual changes were less significant than in the control. These results demonstrate that the combined treatment can improve the microbial safety and the quality of fruits. If it is properly used in the sanitizing step of the fresh produce industry, a positive effect can be expected.

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