Reduction of Salmonella enterica Serovar Enteritidis on the Surface of Raw Shelled Almonds by Exposure to Steam

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This study was conducted to investigate the effect of steam treatment on the reduction of Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis on the surface of raw almonds. Two cultivars, 'Nonpareil' and 'Mission', were studied. Salmonella Enteritidis was inoculated on the surface of raw almonds, which were then treated with steam (93°C ± 1°C) for 5, 15, 25, 35, 45, 55, and 65 s. After steam treatment, samples were plated on xylose lysine desoxycholate (XLD) and overlay (OV) XLD as a selective and nonselective agar for Salmonella, respectively, to investigate the extent of sublethal injury in Salmonella. Steam treatment of raw almonds effectively reduced Salmonella Enteritidis, and the effect was pronounced with increasing treatment time. After 65 s of steam treatment, reductions in Salmonella Enteritidis populations were 5.7 log and 5.8 log for 'Nonpareil' and 4.0 log and 4.1 log for 'Mission' when enumerated on XLD and OV XLD, respectively. There was no significant difference in population estimates determined with XLD and OV XLD over time (P > 0.05). The effect of the steam treatment was significantly different between two almond cultivars. Salmonella inoculated onto 'Mission' was more resistant to the steam treatment than that on 'Nonpareil', indicating that varietal differences must be considered in the application of steam for the disinfection of raw almonds. The present investigation revealed the potential usefulness of steam treatments for the control of pathogens in raw almonds.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164-6376, USA 2: Department of Biological Systems Engineering, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164-6120, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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