Investigating the impact of three washing methods on antimicrobial efficacy, texture, and color of spinach and tomatoes



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Fresh produce is susceptible to contamination at various points in processing, leading to spoilage or foodborne illness. While current standard washing methods are widely used and accepted, it is important to re-evaluate their antibacterial effectiveness as various parameters determine the effectiveness of each method. Quality aspects should also be considered for a well-rounded analysis of the impact of current washing methods on produce after treatment and throughout storage. The antimicrobial efficacy of three washing methods (water, 100 ppm sodium hypochlorite, and 1% citric acid) were investigated on spinach and tomatoes. The washing method parameters were optimized and the immediate impact of the three washing methods on bacterial reduction, texture, and color was evaluated. These were also measured over the shelf-life of the samples. 1% citric acid proved to be the most effective antibacterial agent among the three washing solutions, especially in storage, without significant differences in texture or color.



Biology, Microbiology, Agriculture, Food Science and Technology