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Combination Treatments for Killing Escherichia coli O157:H7 on Alfalfa, Radish, Broccoli, and Mung Bean Seeds

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In this study, the effectiveness of prolonged dry-heat treatment (50°C) alone or in combination with chemical treatments (1% oxalic acid, 0.03% phytic acid, 50% ethanol, electrolyzed acidic water, and electrolyzed alkaline water) in eliminating Escherichia coli O157:H7 on laboratory-inoculated alfalfa, radish, broccoli, and mung bean seeds was compared with that of dry-heat treatment in combination with irradiation treatment. Dry-heat treatment for 17 or 24 h alone could reduce E. coli O157:H7 numbers to below detectable levels in radish, broccoli, and alfalfa seeds, but was unable to reduce the pathogen numbers to below the detectable level in mung bean seeds. In addition, dry-heat treatment for 17 h plus sanitizer treatments were effective in greatly reducing pathogen populations on radish, broccoli, and alfalfa seeds, without compromising the quality of the sprouts, but these treatments did not eliminate the pathogen from radish and alfalfa seeds. Seventeen hours of dry heat followed by a 1.0-kGy dose of irradiation completely eliminated E. coli O157:H7 from radish and mung bean seeds, whereas only a minimum radiation dose of 0.25 kGy was required to completely eliminate the pathogen from broccoli and alfalfa seeds. Dry heat in combination with radiation doses of up to 1.0 kGy did not negatively impact the seed germination rate or length of alfalfa, broccoli, and radish seeds or the length of alfalfa, broccoli, and radish sprouts, but did decrease the length of mung bean sprouts.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: National Food Research Institute, Kannondai-2-1-12, Tsukuba 305-8642, Japan;, Email: 2: National Food Research Institute, Kannondai-2-1-12, Tsukuba 305-8642, Japan 3: Daisey Machinery Co., Ltd., Mitsugi 2-1, Tsurugashima-shi, Saitama 350-2217, Japan

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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