• antimicrobial effect;
  • electrolyzed oxidizing water;
  • Escherichia coli O157:H7;
  • Listeria monocytogenes;
  • strawberries

ABSTRACT:  Antibacterial activity of electrolyzed oxidizing (EO) water prepared from 0.05% or 0.10% (w/v) sodium chloride (NaCl) solutions against indigenous bacteria associated with fresh strawberries (Fragaria×ananassa) was evaluated. The efficacy of EO water and sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) solution in eliminating and controlling the growth of Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli O157:H7 inoculated onto strawberries stored at 4 ± 1 °C up to 15 d was investigated at exposure time of 1, 5, or 10 min. Posttreatment neutralization of fruit surfaces was also determined. More than 2 log10 CFU/g reductions of aerobic mesophiles were obtained in fruits washed for 10 or 15 min in EO water prepared from 0.10% (w/v) NaCl solution. Bactericidal activity of the disinfectants against L. monocytogenes and E. coli O157:H7 was not affected by posttreatment neutralization, and increasing exposure time did not significantly increase the antibacterial efficacy against both pathogens. While washing fruit surfaces with distilled water resulted in 1.90 and 1.27 log10 CFU/mL of rinse fluid reduction of L. monocytogenes and E. coli O157:H7, respectively, ≥ 2.60 log10 CFU/mL of rinse fluid reduction of L. monocytogenes and up to 2.35 and 3.12 log10 CFU/mL of rinse fluid reduction of E. coli O157:H7 were observed on fruit surfaces washed with EO water and NaOCl solution, respectively. Listeria monocytogenes and E. coli O157:H7 populations decreased over storage regardless of prior treatment. However, EO water and aqueous NaOCl did not show higher antimicrobial potential than water treatment during refrigeration storage.