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


<li> 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. </li>
<li> Validate hot water surface pasteurization process using the ERRC dip tank under commercial production conditions at Del Monte's processing facility. </li></p>

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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.

Annous, Bassam
USDA - Agricultural Research Service
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