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Keywords:

  • novel processing;
  • pathogens;
  • ultraviolet

ABSTRACT:  Small fruits are increasingly being implicated in outbreaks of foodborne illness, and fresh produce is now the 2nd leading cause of foodborne illness in the United States. Conventional methods of decontamination are not effective, and there is a need to evaluate novel technologies. Pulsed ultraviolet (UV)-light is one such technology. In this study, pulsed UV-light was applied to strawberries and raspberries at varying UV doses and times. On raspberries, maximum reductions of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella were 3.9 and 3.4 log10 CFU/g at 72 and 59.2 J/cm2, respectively. On the surfaces of strawberries, maximum reductions were 2.1 and 2.8 log10 CFU/g at 25.7 and 34.2 J/cm2, respectively. There was no observable damage to the fruits at these UV doses. The results obtained in this study indicate that pulsed UV-light has the potential to be used as a decontamination method for raspberries and strawberries.