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Acid Tolerance and Survival of Escherichia coli O157:H7 Inoculated in Fruit Pulps Stored under Refrigeration

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The adaptation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 cells to acid conditions has been reported. This study showed the behavior of three strains of E. coli O157:H7 in two different physiological stages (acid shocked and control cells), inoculated in five fruit pulps stored at 4°C for up to 30 days. The three strains of E. coli O157:H7 inoculated in grape pulp could be recovered up to day 30. E. coli O157:H7 strains survived for 4 days in all fruit pulps tested with different pH values (2.51 to 3.26), with the exception of acid-shocked cells of E. coli O157:H7 strain 933, which did not survive in "cajá" (Spodias lutea L.) pulp. The results clearly indicated that acid resistance can persist for long periods during storage at 4°C. The protection conferred by acid adaptation suggests that acid-resistant organisms will be better equipped to outlast these acid challenges. The survival of E. coli O157:H7 in fruit pulps with a low pH, stored under refrigeration, is of extreme importance due to the high virulence of this microorganism. The viability of microorganisms was dependent on the viscosity index of fruit pulps. Less viscous pulps supported the bacteria survival longer than more viscous fruit pulps.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Food and Experimental Nutrition Department, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil 2: Biochemical Pharmaceutical Technology Department, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

Publication date: November 1, 2001

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