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Prewashing with Acidified Sodium Chlorite Reduces Pathogenic Bacteria in Lightly Fermented Chinese Cabbage

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Efficacy of prewashing with acidified sodium chlorite (ASC) for the sanitation of lightly fermented Chinese cabbage was evaluated. The population of the natural microflora on the cabbage leaves was reduced about 2.0 log CFU/g just after washing with ASC, a significant reduction compared with the control distilled water wash (P ≤ 0.05). In the control experiment, viable aerobic bacteria increased gradually when incubated at 10°C; however, ASC-washed cabbage maintained a lower microbial concentration. The treatment of Chinese cabbage with ASC reduced the population of artificially inoculated Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella Enteritidis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Listeria monocytogenes by 2.4 log CFU/g. The sanitation efficacy of ASC was 1.6 log CFU/g higher than that of distilled water washing. The viable cell counts of all pathogenic bacteria tested remained constant during 8 days of storage at 10°C for both washing treatments, with the exception of L. monocytogenes, whose viable cell counts increased gradually with time for both treatments. No significant differences in color, odor, taste, and texture in raw leaves were observed after the ASC wash compared with after the distilled water wash. These results indicate that prewashing with ASC could control bacterial growth in lightly fermented Chinese cabbage without changing the product quality.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: National Food Research Institute, Food Hygiene Team, Kannondai-2-1-12, Tsukuba 305-8642, Japan 2: Aomori Prefectural Local Food Research Center, Product Processing Center, Aza Yanagisawa 91, Oaza Inuse, Rokuto City 033-0071, Japan

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