Post-harvest spray treatments to reduce Salmonella contamination on cantaloupe surfaces
Saucedo Alderete, Raul Oscar
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Since the surfaces of cantaloupes are highly rough or irregular, Salmonella enteric and other bacteria can easily attach to these surfaces and are difficult to remove. Cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) is the active ingredient of some antiseptic oral mouth rinses and has a broad antimicrobial spectrum with a rapid bactericidal effect on Gram-positive pathogens. Delmopinol hydrochloride (delmopinol) is a cationic surfactant that is effective for treating and preventing gingivitis and periodontitis. The application of delmopinol or CPC to cantaloupe surfaces may be an alternative post harvest technique to reduce the frequency and level of Salmonella contamination. Cantaloupe (Athena and Hale's Best Jumbo (HBJ) cultivars) rind plugs were inoculated with a broth culture of Salmonella Michigan. After 15 min, plugs were sprayed with 10 ml of a 1% delmopinol solution, or a CPC solution (0.5 or 1.0%) or distilled water (Control), and held at 37 oC for 1 hr or 24 hr. For additional samples, the chemical treatments were applied 15 min before pathogen inoculation. Melon plugs were submerged in Butterfield's Phosphate Buffer, shaken, sonicated and solutions were enumerated on Tryptic Soy Agar. The texture quality and color of additional melon samples were evaluated after delmopinol or CPC spray treatments and storage at 4 oC. A 1.0% application of CPC reduced Salmonella levels up to 2.34 log CFU/ml (Athena) and 4.95 log CFU/ml (HBJ) in comparison to the control (p<0.01). A 1.0% delmopinol treatment reduced Salmonella levels as much as 3.1 log CFU/ml in comparison to the control (p<0.01) on both cultivars. In general, the log recovery of Salmonella on cantaloupes treated with delmopinol or CPC solutions, after 1 hr storage, was significantly lower (p<0.05) than the recovery from control cantaloupes, but Salmonella recovery was not significantly different after 24 hr. No significant differences were observed in the texture and color of melons treated with delmopinol or CPC after 14 days. A surface spray application of delmopinol hydrochloride or cetylpyridinium chloride could be an alternative antimicrobial post-harvest treatment that could make cantaloupes surfaces more susceptible to sanitizers or enhance physical removal of bacteria.
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