Comparison of the Microbiological Quality of Environmentally Friendly and Conventionally Grown Vegetables Sold at Retail Markets in Korea

Jee-Hoon Ryu, Minju Kim, Eun Gyeong Kim, Larry R. Beuchat, Hoikyung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fresh produce is usually eaten raw without cooking or heating, which may increase the probability of foodborne infection. The microbiological quality of 11 types of fresh, raw vegetables (romaine lettuce, sesame leaves, crown daisy, garlic chives, iceberg lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, leek, chili pepper, capsicum, and zucchini) purchased at retail markets in Iksan, Korea as affected by cultivation method (environmentally friendly vegetables [organic, pesticide-free, and low-pesticide vegetables] and conventionally grown vegetables) and harvest season was determined. Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella were not detected in all samples of vegetables tested. Aerobic mesophiles (>6 log cfu/g) were detected in environmentally friendly romaine lettuce and crown daisy and environmentally friendly and conventionally grown garlic chives, which also contained coliforms (>3 log cfu/g). Sesame leaf and crown daisy (regardless of cultivation method), as well as conventionally grown romaine lettuce and leek, contained >1 log cfu/g of E. coli. The overall microbiological quality of environmentally friendly and conventionally grown vegetables was not significantly different (P > 0.05). However, there were seasonal effects on populations of coliforms and generic E. coli on vegetables. The greatest numbers of microorganisms were isolated from environmentally friendly or conventionally grown vegetables purchased in winter. The vegetables, regardless of cultivation method or season, should be subjected to appropriate antimicrobial treatment to enhance their microbial safety. Practical Application: The results indicate that fresh vegetables purchased at retail markets, regardless of cultivation method, have similar microbiological quality and those purchased in winter, compared to fall or spring, contained more coliforms and E. coli. Some vegetable samples are contaminated with high microbial population (mesophiles, coliforms, or E. coli). These findings support significance of appropriate washing or sanitation of fresh produce during processing or prior to consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)M1739-M1744
JournalJournal of Food Science
Volume79
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 1

Fingerprint

retail marketing
microbiological quality
Korea
Vegetables
Korean Peninsula
vegetables
romaine lettuce
Lettuce
chives
tree crown
Escherichia coli
Chive
leeks
Sesamum indicum
fresh produce
raw vegetables
Crowns
Sesamum
garlic
Capsicum

Keywords

  • Conventionally grown produce
  • Environment friendly
  • Fresh produce
  • Microbiological quality
  • Organic produce

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science

Cite this

Comparison of the Microbiological Quality of Environmentally Friendly and Conventionally Grown Vegetables Sold at Retail Markets in Korea. / Ryu, Jee-Hoon; Kim, Minju; Kim, Eun Gyeong; Beuchat, Larry R.; Kim, Hoikyung.

In: Journal of Food Science, Vol. 79, No. 9, 01.01.2015, p. M1739-M1744.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ryu, Jee-Hoon ; Kim, Minju ; Kim, Eun Gyeong ; Beuchat, Larry R. ; Kim, Hoikyung. / Comparison of the Microbiological Quality of Environmentally Friendly and Conventionally Grown Vegetables Sold at Retail Markets in Korea. In: Journal of Food Science. 2015 ; Vol. 79, No. 9. pp. M1739-M1744.
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