Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Antimicrobials Target Pathogens On Fruits And Vegetables

Date:
July 25, 2008
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
A novel food safety treatment could become an asset to the fast-growing fresh-cut produce industry. The antimicrobial treatment involves the use of submicroscopic agents that are unable to reproduce or grow outside bacterial host cells. The purified viral agents are called bacteriophages, which means "bacteria eater," and they can wreak havoc on deadly bacteria, such as E. coli O157:H7, that sicken consumers.

Bacteriophages are showing promise as a way to control E. coli on lettuce and fresh cantaloupe.
Credit: iStockphoto/Zoran Kolundzija

A novel food safety treatment tested by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists could become an asset to the fast-growing fresh-cut produce industry.

The antimicrobial treatment involves the use of submicroscopic agents that are unable to reproduce or grow outside bacterial host cells. The purified viral agents are called bacteriophages, which means "bacteria eater," and they can wreak havoc on deadly bacteria, such as E. coli O157:H7, that sicken consumers.

The bacteriophage research is being conducted by microbiologist Manan Sharma, with the ARS Food Safety Laboratory, in Beltsville, Md., in collaboration with researchers at Intralytix, Inc., based in Baltimore, Md.

Interest in bacteriophages is ramping up with the emergence of antibiotic-resistant organisms. These "phages" are present in the environment and only attack bacteria; they do not have an adverse effect on humans and animals.

Sharma tested a group of phages (ECP-100) on refrigerated samples of fresh-cut cantaloupe. The treatments reduced pathogens on the samples of fresh-cut cantaloupe by 100-fold in comparison to untreated samples.

Sharma also tested the phages on refrigerated fresh-cut lettuce. The results indicate that bacteriophage treatments can kill E. coli O157:H7 on the surface of leafy green commodities with the same level of efficiency seen in the fresh-cut cantaloupe.

Phages reproduce by latching onto bacteria. The viral DNA is injected into the bacterial hosts' cells, where it directs the production of progeny phages. These phages kill bacterial host cells on exit, and then move on to infect more bacterial cells.

The trials indicated that the phage treatments could be effective in killing E. coli O157:H7 in produce.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Antimicrobials Target Pathogens On Fruits And Vegetables." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080720091638.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2008, July 25). Antimicrobials Target Pathogens On Fruits And Vegetables. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080720091638.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Antimicrobials Target Pathogens On Fruits And Vegetables." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080720091638.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A U.S. doctor has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, as the worst-ever outbreak continues to grow. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The New York Times Backs Pot Legalization

The New York Times Backs Pot Legalization

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The New York Times has officially endorsed the legalization of marijuana, but why now, and to what end? Video provided by Newsy
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