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Chemical and Irradiation Treatments for Killing Escherichia coli O157:H7 on Alfalfa, Radish, and Mung Bean Seeds

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In this study, the effectiveness of dry-heat treatment in combination with chemical treatments (electrolyzed oxidizing [EO] water, califresh-S, 200 ppm of active chlorinated water) with and without sonication in eliminating Escherichia coli O157:H7 on laboratory-inoculated alfalfa, radish, and mung bean seeds was compared with that of dry-heat treatment in combination with irradiation treatment. The treatment of mung bean seeds with EO water in combination with sonication followed by a rinse with sterile distilled water resulted in reductions of approximately 4.0 log10 CFU of E. coli O157:H7 per g, whereas reductions of ca. 1.52 and 2.64 log10 CFU/g were obtained for radish and alfalfa seeds. The maximum reduction (3.70 log10 CFU/g) for mung bean seeds was achieved by treatment with califresh-S and chlorinated water (200 ppm) in combination with sonication and a rinse. The combination of dry heat, hot EO water treatment, and sonication was able to eliminate pathogen populations on mung bean seeds but was unable to eliminate the pathogen on radish and alfalfa seeds. Other chemical treatments used were effective in greatly reducing pathogen populations on radish and alfalfa seeds without compromising the quality of the sprouts, but these treatments did not result in the elimination of pathogens from radish and alfalfa seeds. Moreover, a combination of dry-heat and irradiation treatments was effective in eliminating E. coli O157:H7 on laboratory-inoculated alfalfa, radish, and mung bean seeds. An irradiation dose of 2.0 kGy in combination with dry heat eliminated E. coli O157:H7 completely from alfalfa and mung bean seeds, whereas a 2.5-kGy dose of irradiation was required to eliminate the pathogen completely from radish seeds. Dry heat in combination with irradiation doses of up to 2.0 kGy did not unacceptably decrease the germination percentage for alfalfa seeds or the length of alfalfa sprouts but did decrease the lengths of radish and mung bean sprouts.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Food Hygiene Team, National Food Research Institute, Kannondai-2-1-12, Tsukuba 305-8642, Japan 2: Food Hygiene Team and Radiation Information Technology Laboratory, National Food Research Institute, Kannondai-2-1-12, Tsukuba 305-8642, Japan

Publication date: May 1, 2003

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