Influence of Exposure Time, Shear Stress, and Surfactants on Detachment of Escherichia coli O157: H7 from Fresh Lettuce Leaf Surfaces During Washing Process

Kang Huang, Yuyang Tian, Deepti Salvi, Mukund Karwe, Nitin Nitin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Washing and sanitation of fresh produce are critical for detachment and inactivation of pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms. The overall goal of this study was to evaluate the influence of processing conditions such as washing time, shear stress, and a food grade surfactant on the detachment of Escherichia coli O157:H7 from lettuce leaf surfaces during a simulated washing process. A benchtop scale rotating disk washing device was designed to simulate the processing conditions used in commercial washing systems. Numerical simulations were carried out to calculate the flow profile and shear stress near the leaf surface. Removal of E. coli O157:H7 as a function of processing conditions in the rotating disk washing device was evaluated by enumeration of bacterial population using plate counting and changes in bioluminescence intensity and further confirmed by bioluminescence imaging. The results showed that shear stress was necessary to remove attached bacteria from inoculated leaf samples and simple incubation of inoculated leaves with wash water was not effective. Furthermore, detachment of bacteria from inoculated leaf samples increased with increasing shear stress and incubation time. Shear stress values in the range of 0 – 300 mPa were adequate to induce removal of approximately 1.5 log CFU/cm2 of bacteria from inoculated samples. The addition of a surfactant increased the removal of bacteria from inoculated leaf samples by 0.5 log CFU/cm2. Overall, these results may guide the design of new produce wash systems as well as current industrial practice related to flow conditions and use of surfactants during washing of fresh produce.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalFood and Bioprocess Technology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Dec 7 2017

Keywords

  • Bacterial detachment
  • Escherichia coli O157:H7
  • Fresh produce
  • Numerical simulation
  • Shear stress
  • Surfactant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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