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Enhancing the Efficacy of Fresh Produce Washing Operations through Establishing Monitoring Methods and Water Disinfection Technologies Based on a Combination of Filtration and UV

Investigators
Warriner, Keith
Institutions
University of Guelph
Start date
2011
End date
2012
Objective
The washing of fresh produce is an important step in commercial processing to remove field-acquired contamination. In the course of commercial fresh produce processing the microbial loading and organic loading of the water increases. Consequently, the microbial loading in the water decreases the efficacy of the wash process and increases the potential for contamination to spread through to subsequent product batches. It is common practice to partially or fully replenish tanks with fresh wash water although the timing is largely subjective as opposed to being based on a quality indicator.

In the proposed project, a measurable wash water parameter(s) that can be monitored in real time will be identified to report on the microbiological quality. This will enable processors to more accurately identify when the water requires to be changed in order to maintain the efficacy of the wash process and reduce cross contamination events.

In addition, a cost effective water-recycling unit will be developed based on a combination of filtration and ultraviolet light. By recycling the efficacy of the wash water process will be maintained with cost savings in resources through reduced consumption and wastewater treatment.

Funding Source
Center for Produce Safety
Project source
View this project
Project number
2011-109
Categories
Prevention and Control
Bacterial Pathogens