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Radiation Processing for Elimination of Salmonella Typhimurium from Inoculated Seeds Used for Sprout Making in India and Effect of Irradiation on Germination of Seeds

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The effect of radiation processing on the germination of the sprout seeds mung (Phaseolus aureus), matki (Phaseolus aconitifolius), chana (Cicer arietinum), and vatana (Pisum sativum) in terms of percent germination, germination yield, sprout length, vitamin C content, and texture was investigated. Gradual decreases in the percent germination, germination yield, and sprout length with increases in radiation dose (0.5 to 2.0 kGy) were observed. Vitamin C content and texture remained unaffected for the seeds treated with doses of up to 2 kGy. To determine the efficacy of radiation treatment in elimination of foodborne pathogens, seeds inoculated with 4 log CFU/g of Salmonellla Typhimurium were treated with radiation doses of 1 and 2 kGy. A reduction in counts of Salmonella Typhimurium in inoculated seeds after radiation treatment was observed. A radiation dose of 2 kGy resulted in the complete elimination of 4 log CFU/g of Salmonella Typhimurium from the inoculated seeds. However, on sprouting for 48 h, the count of Salmonella Typhimurium reached 8 log CFU/g for the control seeds and the seeds treated with a 1-kGy radiation dose. The aerobic plate counts for seeds were 2.0 to 2.6 log CFU/g, which were reduced to 0.9 to 1.2 log CFU/g on treatment with a 2-kGy radiation dose. On sprouting for 48 h, the aerobic plate count reached 8 log CFU/g for both the control and radiation-treated seeds. The study demonstrates that irradiation can control bacterial levels on seeds but not contamination introduced during posttreatment handling. Therefore, radiation processing of the final product (sprouts) is recommended, rather than of the seeds.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Food Technology Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai 400 085, India

Publication date: August 1, 2007

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