We developed and validated a treatment to inactivate Escherichia coli O157:H7 on radish seeds without decreasing seed viability. Treatments with aqueous ClO 2 followed by drying and dry-heat treatments were evaluated for efficacy to inactivate the pathogen. Conditions to dry radish seeds after treatment with water (control) or ClO 2 were established. When treated seeds with high water activity (a w) (>0.99) were stored at 45°C and 23% relative humidity (RH), the a w decreased to <0.30 within 24 h. Drying high-a w seeds before exposing them to dry-heat treatment (≥60°C) was essential to preserve seed viability. The germination rate of radish seeds which had been immersed in water for 5 min, dried at 45°C and 23% RH for 24 h, and heated at 70°C for 48 h or at 80°C for 24 h was not significantly decreased (P ≤ 0.05) compared to that of untreatedradish seeds. Sequential treatments with ClO 2 (500 μg/ml, 5 min), drying (45°C, 23% RH, 24 h), and dry heating (70°C, 23% RH, 48 h) eliminated E. coli O157:H7 (5.9 log CFU/g) on radish seeds and, consequently, sprouts produced from them without decreasing the germination rate. These sequential treatments are recommended for application to radish seeds intended for sprout production.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology