Abdulsudi Issa-Zacharia, Yoshinori Kamitani, Happiness Muhimbula and Koichi Iwasaki
Antimicrobial effect of slightly acidic electrolyzed water (SAEW: pH 5.6 ± 0.1, 20.5 ± 1.3 mg/L available chlorine concentration; ACC) against indigenous aerobic mesophiles and inoculated Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp. on fresh strawberry was assessed. The antimicrobial effect of SAEW was compared with that of strong acidic electrolyzed water (StAEW) and sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) solution. SAEW effectively reduced total aerobic mesophilic bacteria from strawberries by 1.68 log10CFU/g and was not significantly different from that of NaOCl solution (p > 0.05). Antimicrobial effect of SAEW against Salmonella spp. and E. coli was indicated by a more than 2 log10CFU/g reduction of their population and the effect was not significantly different from that of NaOCl solution and StAEW at similar treatment conditions (p > 0.05). From these findings, SAEW with a near- neutral pH and low available chlorine concentration exhibits an equivalent bactericidal effectiveness to NaOCl solution and thus SAEW is a potential sanitizer that would be used as an alternative for StAEW and NaOCl solution in the fresh fruit and vegetables industry.
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