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Microscopic Observation and Processing Validation of Fruit Sanitizing Treatments for the Enhanced Microbiological Safety of Fresh Orange Juice

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Studies were conducted to evaluate the infiltration of dye and bacteria into the interior of orange fruit and the impact of possible infiltration on achieving a 5-log microbial reduction during fresh juice processing. Fresh orange fruit were treated at the stem end area with dye and either Salmonella Rubislaw or Escherichia coli strains expressing green fluorescent protein. Microscopic images showed that bacterial contaminants localized at the surface or near surface areas that may be sanitized by surface treatments. Dye infiltration was not a reliable indicator of bacterial penetration in citrus fruit. To quantify the reduction of bacterial contamination, orange fruit were inoculated with E. coli and processed with and without hot water treatments. Greater than 5-log reductions were achieved in juice extracted from fruit immersed in hot water for 1 or 2 min at 80°C, in comparison to the E. coli level detected in the control juice obtained by homogenization of inoculated fruit.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Florida Department of Citrus, CREC, Lake Alfred, Florida 38850, USA 2: University of Florida, CREC, Lake Alfred, Florida 33850, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2001

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    First published in 1937, the Journal of Food Protection®, is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection® is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

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