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The potential of using ultraviolet light (UV) in combination of peracetic acid (PAA) as an alternative to chlorine washing for lettuce was evaluated. Shredded iceberg lettuce was dip-inoculated with a four-strain Salmonella cocktail to final levels of 6-7.5 log CFU/g, following by air-drying and overnight cold storage. The inoculated lettuce (80 g) was then washed in turbid tap water containing 6% lettuce juice extract and silicon dioxide (turbidity of ~60 NTU; COD of ~2000 mg/L) while being treated with 1) 10 or 20 ppm free chlorine, 2) PAA solution (40 and 80 ppm), 3) UV (10, 20 and 30 mW/cm), 4) a combination of UV and PAA for 1, 2, and 5 min. Among all the single treatments, the 30 mW/cm UV treatment achieved the highest Salmonella reduction on lettuce. For the 2-min treatment group, the 30 mW/cm UV treatment achieved 1.98 log reduction, while the 80 ppm PAA and 20 ppm free chlorine resulted in 1.52 and 1.23 log reduction, respectively. The combined treatment of 30 mW/cm UV and 80 ppm PAA achieved significantly higher (P < .05) Salmonella reduction than the 20 ppm free chlorine washing. For the 5-min treatment group, the combined treatment resulted in 3.24 log reduction, while the 20 ppm free chlorine washing only achieved 1.24 log reduction. The effect of the combined treatment of 30 mW/cm UV and 80 ppm PAA was also compared with 20 ppm free chlorine washing on larger sample sizes of 200, 500, and 1000 g lettuce. The increase of sample size from 80 g to 1000 g did not significantly (P < .05) affect the inactivation of Salmonella on lettuce for the combined treatment. In addition, the combined treatment of 80 ppm PAA and 30 mW/cm UV was able to maintain the Salmonella population in wash water under the detection limit of 0.3 log CFU/mL. It was therefore concluded that the combined treatment of 30 mW/cm UV and 80 ppm PAA could be used as an alternative to chlorine washing for lettuce decontamination.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: International journal of food microbiology
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