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Attachment of Salmonella Poona to Cantaloupe Rind and Stem Scar Tissues as Affected by Temperature of Fruit and Inoculum

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A negative temperature differential between fruits or vegetables and the water in which they are immersed theoretically enhances infiltration of water and any microorganisms it might contain into tissues. The effect of temperature differentials between cantaloupes and wash water, each at 4 and 30°C, on changes in cantaloupe weight and populations of Salmonella enterica Poona recovered from rinds and stem scar tissues of Eastern and Western (shipper) types of cantaloupes was assessed. The percent weight increase in Western cantaloupes was significantly greater (P ≤ 0.05) than that in Eastern cantaloupes for all cantaloupe and inoculum temperature combinations. Salmonella Poona attachment to or infiltration of Eastern but not Western cantaloupe rind is enhanced when the fruit is at 4°C, compared with 30°C, regardless of the temperature of the immersion suspension. The number of Salmonella Poona cells recovered from rind tissue of Western cantaloupes at 30°C immersed in inoculum at 30°C was significantly less (P ≤ 0.05) than that recovered from rind tissues of cantaloupes at 4 or 30°C that were immersed in inoculum at 4°C. Salmonella Poona in immersion water can adhere to or infiltrate surface tissues of cantaloupes. The populations of Salmonella Poona recovered from stem scar tissues of Eastern and Western types of cantaloupes were not significantly (P > 0.05) affected by cantaloupe and inoculum temperature combinations. Populations of cells adhering to or infiltrating various cantaloupe tissues is not dictated entirely by temperature differentials between fruits and immersion suspensions; rather, it also apparently is influenced by structures unique to surface tissues.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Center for Food Safety and Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Georgia, 1109 Experiment Street, Griffin,Georgia 30223-1797, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2004

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