ELIMINATING SALMONELLA ENTERICA IN ALFALFA AND MUNG BEAN SPROUTS BY ORGANIC ACID AND HOT WATER IMMERSIONS

Authors


1 TEL: 804-524-6715; FAX: 804-524-5186; EMAIL: spao@vsu.edu

Abstract

ABSTRACT

This study evaluated the efficacy of acid and heat treatments for eliminating Salmonella enterica in sprouts grown from inoculated seeds. Salmonella was detected at 7.6 and 6.9 log cfu/g, respectively, in alfalfa and mung bean sprouts after germination. Immersing the alfalfa and mung bean sprouts, respectively, for 24 and 48 h in 2% acetic acid eliminated Salmonella (<1 cell/25 g). In 5% acetic acid, the elimination of Salmonellain alfalfa and mung bean sprouts was achieved after 4 and 16 h, respectively. However, similar treatments by citric acid were ineffective. Dipping alfalfa sprouts in hot water at 70, 80, 90 and 100C, respectively, for 10, 5, 3 and 3 s eliminated Salmonella. For mung bean sprouts, the elimination was observed at 70 or 80C for 20 s, 90C for 10 s, or 100C for 5 s. This study demonstrated that acetic acid and hot water treatments can be effective in inactivating Salmonella for sprout safety.

PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

This study showed that Salmonella can proliferate in sprouting systems during seed germination despite constant water change. Consumers, when uncertain with the microbial safety of home-grown or purchased raw sprouts, should apply adequate intervention treatments prior to consumption. Soaking raw sprouts in acetic acid solutions may help to reduce Salmonella contamination. However, extended treatment times are required. Heat treatment is traditionally used in preparing raw sprouts for Asian cuisines. Our study demonstrates that this practice is very effective for ensuring sprout safety. The data should be considered for use in consumer and extension services.

Ancillary