A. Adhikari, R.M. Syamaladevi, K. Killinger, and S.S. Sablani
Int J Food Microbiol. June 2015. Volume 210. Pages 136-142 View Full Article
This study investigated UV-C light inactivation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes on the surface of organic apples, pears, strawberries, red raspberries and cantaloupes. Fruit surfaces spot inoculated with cocktail strains of E. coli O157:H7 and L. monocytogenes were exposed to UV-C doses up to 11.9kJ/m2 at 23°C. Fruit surface roughness, contact angle, and surface energy were determined and correlated with UV-C inactivation kinetics. Results demonstrate that bacterial pathogens on fruit surfaces respond differently to UV-C light exposure. E. coli O157:H7 on apple and pear surfaces was reduced by 2.9 and 2.1logCFU/g, respectively when treated with UV-C light at 0.92kJ/m2 (60s). For berries, the reduction of E. coli O157:H7 was lower with 2.0 (strawberry) and 1.1logCFU/g (raspberry) achieved after UV-C treatment at 7.2kJ/m2 (8min) and at 10.5kJ/m2 (12min), respectively. Similarly, a higher reduction of L. monocytogenes was observed on apple (1.6logCFU/g at 3.75kJ/m2) and pear (1.7logCFU/g at 11.9kJ/m2) surfaces compared to cantaloupe and strawberry surfaces (both achieved 1.0logCFU/g at 11.9kJ/m2). L. monocytogenes shows more resistance than E. coli O157:H7. Inactivation rates were higher for less hydrophobic fruits with smoother surfaces (apples and pears) as compared to fruits with rougher surfaces (cantaloupe, strawberry and raspberry). Findings indicate that UV-C light can effectively reduce E. coli O157:H7 and L. monocytogenes populations on fruit and berry surfaces. However, surface characteristics influence the efficacy of UV-C light.