Effectiveness of a low-cost household electrolyzed water
generator in reducing the populations of Escherichia coli K12
on inoculated beef, chevon, and pork surfaces
Hema L. Degala
Ajit K. Mahapatra
Food Engineering Laboratory, Agricultural
Research Station, College of Agriculture,
Family Sciences and Technology, Fort Valley
State University, Fort Valley, Georgia 31030
Ajit K. Mahapatra, Food Engineering
Laboratory, Agricultural Research Station,
College of Agriculture, Family Sciences and
Technology, Fort Valley State University,
Fort Valley, GA 31030, USA.
1890 ARD Food Safety Consortium; USDA
National Institute of Food and Agriculture,
Grant/Award Number: 1001168
Acidic and alkaline electrolyzed water (EW) were investigated for their bactericidal effects when
sprayed on the surface of beef, chevon (goat meat), and pork inoculated with Escherichia coli K12.
Inoculated meat samples were subjected to different treatment times ranging from 2 to 12 min
and enumerated on tryptic soy agar to determine the effective log reductions of microbial popula-
tions. Acidic EW treated beef, chevon, and pork samples resulted in the highest log reductions of
approximately 1.16 (4 min), 1.22 (12 min), and 1.30 log
CFU/mL (10 min), respectively; and alka-
line EW treatments resulted in 1.61, 0.96, and 1.52 log
CFU/mL reductions at 12 min treatment,
respectively. In general, no significant difference in bacterial reduction (p > .05) among the differ-
ent types of meat was observed. Experimental data were used to fit two microbial reduction
models. The Weibull model best described E. coli reduction from meat surfaces.
Foodborne microorganisms are responsible for a large number of outbreaks and foodborne ill-
nesses. Several conventional methods such as heat and chemicals have been used for many years
to ensure the safety of food. Meat is the most consumed food as a source of protein. Since meat
is usually marketed raw, chlorine-based washing technologies are commonly preferred for surface
decontamination. However, these technologies may leave some chemical residues in meat that
might alter its color, flavor, and texture. Electrolyzed oxidizing water is an alternative nonthermal
technology that has been used in recent years to improve the safety of food products. This study
thus focuses on determining the efficacy of acidic and alkaline electrolyzed water in inactivating
Escherichia coli on beef, chevon, and pork surfaces.
Meat is used as a source of vitamins, minerals, and protein that
complements a healthy diet, and its consumption continues to grow
worldwide. In the United States, the average consumption of meat is
about 100 kg of meat per year per person. Red meat (beef, pork,
chevon, and lamb) and white meat (chicken and turkey) are among the
most common types of meat consumed in the United States. Chevon is
widely consumed in many tropical regions across the world, and the
demand for chevon in the United States is increasing due to its nutri-
tional values (Ekanem, Mafuyai-Ekanem, Tagegne, Singh, & Favors,
Improper handling of raw meat during slaughtering leads to the
contamination of meat with Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella,and
some strains of Escherichia coli resulting in foodborne illnesses
(Priyanka, Patil, & Dwarakanath, 2016). According to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2015), foodborne illnesses from
pathogens have caused 15,202 million illnesses, 950 hospitalizations,
and 15 deaths in the United States in 2015.
E. coli is a gram-negative, rod-shaped bacteria generally found in
the gut of humans and cattle. While most strains of E. coli are harmless,
Shiga toxin-producing strains cause foodborne illnesses and diseases.E.
coli O157:H7 is a strain of E. coli which produces Shiga toxins 1 and 2,
making it pathogenic (Chauret, 2011). It is responsible for many
J Food Process Preserv. 2018;e13636.
2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Received: 20 December 2017
Revised: 13 March 2018
Accepted: 18 March 2018