Effect of electron beam irradiation on the bacterial load and sensorial quality of sliced cantaloupe
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Electron beam irradiated sliced cantaloupe was tested for 21 d of storage for total aerobic microbial counts, texture, color, and different sensorial parameters as a function of irradiation doses 0, 0.7, and 1.4 kGy and the wash treatments, 1 and 200 ppm chlorine applied to the melons before cutting. Irradiation resulted in a reduction in the total aerobic microbial counts with increasing doses. Melons washed only with water before cutting had total aerobic bacterial counts of 4.0, 2.0, and 0.8 log colony-forming units (CFU)/g on day 0 at irradiation doses of 0, 0.7, and 1.4 kGy, respectively. Across all doses of irradiation, counts were consistently lower for cantaloupe pieces obtained from melons that had been subjected to chlorine rinse in comparison with those washed with water without chlorine. Melons washed with chlorine before cutting had total aerobic bacterial counts of 2.7, 0.7, and 0.5 log CFU/g on day 0 at irradiation doses of 0, 0.7, and 1.4 kGy, respectively. Objective color analysis indicated no significant effect of irradiation on the color of cantaloupe. Texture measured as compression force was lower only for cantaloupe irradiated at 1.4 kGy. Irradiation did not affect descriptive attribute flavor and texture sensory attributes of cantaloupe pieces. Decontamination of whole cantaloupes before cutting using chlorine wash may be combined with low-dose irradiation for shelf-life extension of sliced cantaloupe.
author list (cited authors)
Palekar, M. P., Cabrera-Diaz, E., Kalbasi-Ashtari, A., Maxim, J. E., Miller, R. K., Cisneros-Zevallos, L., & Castillo, A.