Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) is one of the most cultivated vegetable in the world which is mostly consumed raw. Raw products are important vehicles for the transmission of pathogens which cause foodborne illness. Recently, a multistate Salmonella Poona outbreak in the USA was linked to the consumption of contaminated imported Californian cucumbers. Hence, measures to decontaminate fresh produce are necessary. Electron-beam irradiation is an effective nonthermal decontamination method. However, it could induce negative quality effects such as loss of texture, flavor, and nutrients. Therefore, the need to optimize the irradiation process. The objectives of this study were to (1) determine the radiation D10-value of Salmonella Poona on sliced cucumber; (2) quantify the effect of electron-beam irradiation on the product quality attributes (texture and color) throughout storage at refrigeration temperature (4 ±1 °C); and (3) optimize irradiation treatment to ensure proper decontamination (5D) while maintaining produce quality. The D10-value of the Salmonella Poona strain used in this study was 0.38 ± 0.03 kGy. Although the irradiated samples were softer (P < .05) than the non-irradiated controls, all irradiated samples were acceptable to the consumer panelists. In summary, irradiation treatment had no negative impact (P > .05) on the quality parameters of sliced cucumbers.
LWT - Food Science and Technology – Elsevier
Published: May 1, 2018
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