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Efficacy of Ultraviolet Treatments for the Inhibition of Pathogens on the Surface of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

A strategy to minimize the risks involved with the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables involves either reducing or eliminating surface contamination of pathogens. Effective surface decontamination techniques could be employed to reduce the surface load of foodborne pathogens. Simply washing fresh produce with water may remove pathogens and other spoilage organisms. Traditional detergents are known to be partially effective in removing pathogens (2, 7, 39), however each type of disinfectant varies both in efficiency and in allowable maximum concentration. In contrast to chemicals, the use of an alternative treatment for the destruction of pathogens on the surface of fresh fruits and vegetables would be desirable. One such alternative process is the use of germicidal ultraviolet light at a wavelength of 200 – 280 nm (UVC).

Thesis Brian R. Yaun

Masters of Science in Food Science and Technology Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg VA

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