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Attachment and Growth of Salmonella Chester on Apple Fruits and In Vivo Response of Attached Bacteria to Sanitizer Treatments

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Attachment and growth of Salmonella Chester on fresh-cut apple disks and in vivo response of attached bacteria to sanitizer treatments were investigated. Apple disks (14 mm in diameter and 3 to 4 mm in thickness) were immersed in a bacterial suspension that contained 8.17 log CFU/ml of Salmonella Chester and air dried at room temperature for 10 min. After two rinses, the population of Salmonella Chester retained on apple disks that contained no skin was 13 to 19% higher than that retained on disks that contained skin, indicating that Salmonella Chester attached more firmly to the surfaces of injured tissue than to the unbroken skin. The number of bacteria attached to the disk was not affected by the immersion time but was directly proportional to the concentration of bacteria in the suspension. The distribution of artificially inoculated Salmonella Chester on the surfaces of three different parts of whole fruit was determined; 94% of attached bacteria was found on the stem and calyx cavity areas and 6% on the skin of the remaining area of the fruit. Despite their acidic pH (4.1), apple disks supported the growth of Salmonella Chester at 20°C but not at 8°C. All four sanitizers tested in the study, including 6% hydrogen peroxide, 2% trisodium phosphate, 0.36% calcium hypochlorite, and 1.76% sodium hypochlorite, were effective in reducing the population of Salmonella Chester on apple disks by 1 to 2 logs. However, 5 to 13% of bacteria survived the sanitizer treatments. Hydrogen peroxide, which reduced the population of Salmonella Chester on skin by 3 to 4 logs and the population of bacteria on stem or calyx by 1 to 2 logs, was the most effective among the four sanitizers tested. Firm attachment of bacteria on calyx, stem, and injured tissue and partial resistance of attached bacteria to sanitizer treatments are two major obstacles to be considered when developing methods for cleaning and decontaminating apple fruits destined for juice production and fresh consumption.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Eastern Regional Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, 600 East Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania 19038, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2000

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