Use of fulvic acid formulations as flume-wash treatments for reduction of Escherichia coli O157

H7 on organic leafy greens

Pushpinder Kaur Litt, Sadhana Ravishankar, Divya Jaroni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Escherichia coli O157:H7 is a public health problem worldwide, with leafy greens as a major source of recent outbreaks. Standard organic produce-industry washes have been ineffective in reducing this problem. It is therefore crucial that effective alternatives for washing organic produce be developed. Fulvic acid (FA) is an organic acid reported to have antimicrobial and antifungal properties. The present study evaluated the antimicrobial efficacy of various FA formulations (I, II, III, IV) against E. coli O157:H7 as a flume-wash treatment for organic leafy greens. Organic baby and mature spinach, and romaine and iceberg lettuce, were inoculated with E. coli O157:H7 and washed with FA formulations at 1, 2, and 3% concentrations. Pathogen populations were determined on leafy greens stored at 4°C over a 3-day period. Treatment with all FA formulations at all three concentrations showed significant reductions (P < 0.05) in E. coli O157:H7 populations compared with the positive control. The most effective treatment was found to be FA-III at 3%, with 2.4 log CFU/g reduction on all leafy greens by day 3. Higher treatment concentrations caused higher reductions in pathogen populations. Fulvic acid could be used as an effective antimicrobial during flume washing and subsequent short-term storage of organic leafy greens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-292
Number of pages9
JournalFood Protection Trends
Volume36
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

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Escherichia coli O157
fulvic acids
green leafy vegetables
Organic Food
washing
anti-infective agents
romaine lettuce
Population
Ice Cover
Lactuca sativa var. capitata
antifungal properties
Lettuce
Spinacia oleracea
pathogens
infants
anti-infective properties
spinach
organic acids and salts
Disease Outbreaks
fulvic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Use of fulvic acid formulations as flume-wash treatments for reduction of Escherichia coli O157 : H7 on organic leafy greens. / Litt, Pushpinder Kaur; Ravishankar, Sadhana; Jaroni, Divya.

In: Food Protection Trends, Vol. 36, No. 4, 01.07.2016, p. 284-292.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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