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Surface Pasteurization of Cantaloupe Melons for Improving the Quality and Safety of Fresh-Cut Fruit

Annous, Bassam
USDA - Agricultural Research Service
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  1. Evaluate the effect of hot water surface pasteurization process, developed at ERRC, on microbial and sensory qualities, and shelf life extension of fresh-cut cantaloupe melons.
  2. Validate hot water surface pasteurization process using the ERRC dip tank under commercial production conditions at Del Monte's processing facility.
More information
Research will be conducted to determine the effect of hot water surface pasteurization process on quality and shelf-life extension of fresh-cut cantaloupe melons. Our initial results indicate that more than 5 log CFU/cm2 reductions in Salmonella Poona populations on cantaloupe surfaces can be achieved following commercial-scale hot water immersion of whole melons at 76 C for 3 min. Also, this hot water commercial-scale treatment of whole melons was not detrimental to either the quality or shelf-life of fresh-cut pieces prepared from the treated melons. This treatment will be compared with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and chlorine washing treatments as points of reference. Large-scale produce decontamination trials will be conducted in the Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2) Pilot Plant using an ERRC designed commercial-scale dip tank. Such research will provide critical information needed to establish the utility of hot water surface pasteurization treatment as a produce sanitizer.
Funding Source
Agricultural Research Service
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Food Defense and Integrity