Washing fresh produce
Campden BRI case study
Reducing the risk of unacceptable levels of pathogens occurring on products is a major problem for the fresh produce industry, which cannot use heat processing. Various approaches have been explored that can kill or remove problem microbes whilst not adversely affecting the fresh produce.
Steritrox, through its Radical brand, developed a system based on washing the produce with an ozonated water spray and sought independent assessment of its anti-microbial activity – specifically against Salmonella, Listeria and Escherichia coli O157 attached to the surface of whole white cabbage.
Product was artificially inoculated with a cocktail of the organisms. After they had been given time to attach to the surface of the cabbage leaves, they were treated with the spray water, for either 30 or 60 seconds. The levels that could be removed by swabbing decreased on average by between 2.3 and 4.5 log. The company was delighted that independent tests confirmed the efficacy of their system.
Mark Fielding, Radical director, commented: "This is a very encouraging set of results and demonstrates the potential of this technology in helping fresh fruit and vegetable processors protect their produce. We have built up an excellent working relationship with Campden BRI and are currently involved in their whole-room disinfection studies - using their expertise to further develop our ozone-based products."
Both pieces of work draw on the substantial experience of our Microbiology and Hygiene Departments in evaluating the efficacy of antimicrobial products or systems, both on products and in the factory or processing environment. Our third-party independence is seen as a major advantage by clients and by those seeking reassurance that a new product or service has been independently tested.