Researchers at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently examined the safety and quality of "wash techniques" used in the production of packaged produce. The study, published in the October 2007 issue of HortScience, simulated washing techniques to learn more about how industry practices affect quality and safety of pre-cut lettuce.
Yaguang Luo, PhD, Research Food Technologist at the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Produce Quality and Safety Laboratory, headed the study of produce wash techniques used in the commercial preparation of pre-cut fruits and vegetables. Luo explained that recent outbreaks of food-borne illnesses associated with the consumption of fresh-cut produce underscored the importance of ensuring food safety of these packaged convenience foods.
He noted that washing the produce is an important step commonly employed by the industry to maintain the quality and safety of fresh and fresh-cut produce. Prior to the study, however, little information existed about how wash operation and water re-use techniques affected the water quality, the efficacy of sanitizers on the reduction of microorganisms, or the quality and shelf life of packaged products. Luo explained: "The main objective of the research was to examine the dynamic interactions among wash operation, water quality, and sanitizer efficacy and product quality. We investigated the effect of produce washing techniques, including simulated water re-use, and the ratio between product weight and wash water volume on the water quality and effectiveness of sanitizers used to reduce microorganisms."
The researchers found that procedures in which water was re-used during the washing process led to rapid accumulation of organic matter in wash water and compromised the efficacy of sanitizers. According to Luo, "It is generally known that water re-use can cause water quality loss. The value of this research is that it reveals the complex effects of the foreign matter that is washed from produce on water quality and product quality, and it provides specific information on how wash operation variables (such as re-use of the same tank of water with increasing amount of cut product being washed) affect the water quality." The study also demonstrated the direct effect of wash water quality on product quality.
Luo concluded that results of the USDA study should define relationships among produce wash operations, water quality and product quality, giving produce packers new tools for enhancing food safety and quality.
Michael W. Neff | EurekAlert!
Six-legged livestock -- sustainable food production
11.05.2017 | Faculty of Science - University of Copenhagen
Elephant Herpes: Super-Shedders Endanger Young Animals
04.05.2017 | Universität Zürich
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.
In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...
Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...
For the first time, scientists have succeeded in studying the strength of hydrogen bonds in a single molecule using an atomic force microscope. Researchers from the University of Basel’s Swiss Nanoscience Institute network have reported the results in the journal Science Advances.
Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe and is an integral part of almost all organic compounds. Molecules and sections of macromolecules are...
22.05.2017 | Event News
17.05.2017 | Event News
16.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Materials Sciences
22.05.2017 | Life Sciences
22.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy