Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Food Scientists Confirm Commercial Product Effectively Kills Bacteria In Vegetable Washwater

Date:
June 26, 2008
Source:
University of Idaho
Summary:
Research conducted by food science faculty at the University of Idaho and Washington State University indicate that a commercially available fruit and vegetable wash, when used in a food-manufacturing setting, can dramatically decrease the number of disease-causing organisms in produce-processing washwater. That could reduce by manyfold the potential for cross-contamination within the water by such "gram-negative" bacteria as Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7.

The researchers chose potatoes for their study because their dirt-laden washwater poses the greatest challenge to products designed to control microbial contamination.
Credit: iStockphoto/Dan Moore

Research conducted by food science faculty at the University of Idaho and Washington State University indicate that a commercially available fruit and vegetable wash, when used in a food-manufacturing setting, can dramatically decrease the number of disease-causing organisms in produce-processing washwater. That could reduce by manyfold the potential for cross-contamination within the water by such “gram-negative” bacteria as Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7.

The product, sold commercially as FIT Fruit and Vegetable Wash, not only proved much more effective than the commonly used chlorine dioxide but is made from ingredients like citric acid and distilled grapefruit oil that are generally regarded as safe. Chlorine dioxide, whose use in food plants can put workers at risk, was compromised by soils and plant debris in the washwater and killed only 90 percent of the target organisms in the food plant and followup laboratory studies. By contrast, FIT killed 99.9999 percent, according to associate professor of food science Dong-Hyun Kang of Washington State University. “If you had a million bacteria, you would have one left.”

The research—unusual because part of it was conducted under real-world conditions in an Idaho freshpack potato operation—will be published by the Journal of Food Science in August. University of Idaho Extension food scientist Jeff Kronenberg said the researchers chose potatoes for their study because their dirt-laden washwater poses the greatest challenge to products designed to control microbial contamination—not because of any food-safety threat potatoes pose. Indeed, Kronenberg said, “We have historically had zero problems with food-borne diseases in potatoes that are sold in grocery stores and restaurants because they’re cooked.”

Kronenberg believes FIT should be further investigated for fresh produce that has been associated with food-borne illness—including lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, cilantro, parsley and other leafy vegetables—where it is has the potential to save lives.

According to Kang, most food-processing firms cleanse their produce in flumes that operate as aquatic conveyor belts. “If a pathogen is introduced in the washwater, it will grow and continuously contaminate the new produce,” he said. With 15 years of experience, Kang has found it “very, very difficult” to control disease-causing organisms in flume water and said he “didn’t expect this kind of reduction. I’m really happy to see it.”

WSU research technologist Peter Gray agreed, noting that the bacteria were “knocked down below the detection limit almost instantaneously” in the FIT treatments.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Idaho. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Park et al. Efficacy of FIT Produce Wash and Chlorine Dioxide on Pathogen Control in Fresh Potatoes. Journal of Food Science, 2008; 0 (0): 080602083124479 DOI: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2008.00793.x

Cite This Page:

University of Idaho. "Food Scientists Confirm Commercial Product Effectively Kills Bacteria In Vegetable Washwater." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080625122930.htm>.
University of Idaho. (2008, June 26). Food Scientists Confirm Commercial Product Effectively Kills Bacteria In Vegetable Washwater. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080625122930.htm
University of Idaho. "Food Scientists Confirm Commercial Product Effectively Kills Bacteria In Vegetable Washwater." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080625122930.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins