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Title: Impact of a pilot-scale plasma-assisted washing process on the culturable microbial community dynamics related to fresh-cut endive lettuce
Authors: Fröhling, A.Ehlbeck, J.Schlüter, O.
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Issue Date: 2018
Published in: Applied Sciences (Switzerland) Vol. 8 (2018), No. 11
Publisher: Basel : MDPI AG
Abstract: Cold plasma is described as a promising technique for the treatment of fresh food. In particular, the application of plasma-treated water gained interest in fresh-cut produce processing. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of plasma-treated water (PTW) to decontaminate lettuce during washing on a pilot-scale level with special interest in the dynamics of the culturable microbial community in a first approach. PTW was used in pilot-scale washing at different processing steps, and the total viable count (TVC) of endive lettuce was determined after treatment and after storage (seven days, 2 °C). Microflora representatives were identified using MALDI-ToF MS. The highest reduction of TVC (1.8 log units) was achieved using PTW for washing whole lettuce before cutting. The microbial community structure showed high variations in the composition along the processing chain and during storage with a decrease in diversity after washing with PTW. PTW reduced the microbial load of endive lettuce; however, this was not clearly detectable at the end of storage, similar to other sanitizers used in comparable studies. To assure the safety of fresh products, detailed knowledge about the microbial load and the composition of the microbial community close to the end of shelf life is of high interest for optimized process design.
Keywords: MALDI-ToF MS; Pilot-scale lettuce washing; Plasma-treated water; Total viable count
DDC: 570
License: CC BY 4.0 Unported
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Appears in Collections:Biowissenschaften

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