Prediction of Microbial Growth in Fresh-Cut Vegetables Treated with Acidic Electrolyzed Water during Storage under Various Temperature Conditions

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Effects of storage temperature (1, 5, and 10°C) on growth of microbial populations (total aerobic bacteria, coliform bacteria, Bacillus cereus, and psychrotrophic bacteria) on acidic electrolyzed water (AcEW)-treated fresh-cut lettuce and cabbage were determined. A modified Gompertz function was used to describe the kinetics of microbial growth. Growth data were analyzed using regression analysis to generate ''best-fit'' modified Gompertz equations, which were subsequently used to calculate lag time, exponential growth rate, and generation time. The data indicated that the growth kinetics of each bacterium were dependent on storage temperature, except at 1°C storage. At 1°C storage, no increases were observed in bacterial populations. Treatment of vegetables with AcEW produced a decrease in initial microbial populations. However,subsequent growth rates were higher than on nontreated vegetables. The recovery time required by the reduced microbial population to reach the initial (treated with tap water [TW]) population was also determined in this study, with the recovery time of the microbial population at 10°C being <3 days. The benefits of reducing the initial microbial populations on fresh-cut vegetables were greatly affected by storage temperature. Results from this study could be used to predict microbial quality of fresh-cut lettuce and cabbage throughout their distribution.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Graduate School of Agriculture, Hokkaido University, Kita 9, Nishi 9, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-8589, Japan

Publication date: December 1, 2001

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