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Inactivation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella Typhimurium DT 104 on Alfalfa Seeds by Levulinic Acid and Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate

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Studies were conducted to determine the best concentration and exposure time for treatment of alfalfa seeds with levulinic acid plus sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) to inactivate Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella without adversely affecting seed germination. Alfalfa seeds inoculated with a five-strain mixture of E. coli O157:H7 or Salmonella Typhimurium were dried in a laminar flow hood at 21°C for up to 72 h. Inoculated alfalfa seeds dried for 4 h then treated for 5 min at 21°C with 0.5% levulinic acid and 0.05% SDS reduced the population of E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella Typhimurium by 5.6 and 6.4 log CFU/g, respectively. On seeds dried for 72 h, treatment with 0.5% levulinic acid and 0.05% SDS for 20 min at 21°C reduced E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella Typhimurium populations by 4 log CFU/g. Germination rates of alfalfa seeds treated with 0.5% levulinic acid plus 0.05% SDS for up to 1 h at 21°C were compared with a treatment of 20,000 ppm of calcium hypochlorite or tap water only. Treatment of alfalfa seeds with 0.5% levulinic acid plus 0.05% SDS for 5 min at 21°C resulted in a >3.0-log inactivation of E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Center for Food Safety, University of Georgia, 1109 Experiment Street, Griffin, Georgia 30223, USA

Publication date: November 1, 2010

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