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Irradiation To Kill Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella on Ready-to-Eat Radish and Mung Bean Sprouts

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A study was carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of ionizing radiation in eliminating Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella on commercial ready-to-eat radish and mung bean sprouts and to assess the chemical and physical quality of these sprouts. The use of ionizing radiation was investigated as a means of reducing or totally inactivating these pathogens, if present, on the sprouts. Treatment of mung bean and radish sprouts with a dose of 1.5 and 2.0 kGy, respectively, significantly reduced E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella to nondetectable limits. The total vitamin C content was gradually reduced with the increase in irradiation dose (P < 0.0001). However, the effect of storage interval on the loss of vitamin C was nonsignificant for radish sprouts and significant for mung bean sprouts (P < 0.04). The color, firmness, and overall visual quality of the tested sprouts were acceptable when effective doses were applied to both radish and mung bean sprouts. Therefore, ionizing radiation could be useful in reducing the population of pathogens on sprouts and yet retain acceptable quality parameters.

Document Type: Short Communication

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

Publication date: October 1, 2004

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