Microbial quality and labeling of minimally processed fruits and vegetables

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.14393/BJ-v37n0a2021-53734

Keywords:

Escherichia coli, Food Safety, Hygiene, Quality Control, Salmonella sp.

Abstract

The consumption of minimally processed, or ready-to-eat (RTE), fruits and vegetables has been growing because people have shorter time to eat and due to the pursuit of convenience and health benefits. Minimal processing includes raw material selection and sorting, pre-washing, debarking, cutting, slicing, sanitizing, rinsing, centrifuging, and packing. Thus, natural protection barriers are affected during cutting methods and they release nutrients that enable microorganism growth.  The aim of the current study was to evaluate the levels of aerobic mesophilic bacteria, molds and yeasts, coliforms at 35°C, Escherichia coli and Salmonella sp., as well as the labeling adequacy of minimally processed fruits and vegetables traded in Vitória, Espírito Santo, Brazil. Fruits and vegetables presented aerobic mesophilic bacteria, molds and yeasts, and coliforms at 35°C, above the safe limit for consumption purposes. The count of aerobic mesophilic bacteria in RTE fruits ranged from 4.00 to 6.30 Log CFU/g. The highest count of this microorganism group was recorded for fruit salads. Salmonella sp. was not identified in fruit or vegetable samples, whereas Escherichia coli was detected in four vegetable samples. None of the evaluated labels (n = 40) followed the Brazilian legislation. Minimally processed fruits and vegetables had poor microbiological quality and labeling was also unsatisfactory. The adoption of good manufacturing practices and quality control tools as strategies to produce safe food can help minimizing risks to consumers’ health.

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Published

2021-10-13

How to Cite

SAMÔR DOS SANTOS, L., VASCONCELOS DA SILVA, L., MORANDI LEPAUS, B. and DE SÃO JOSÉ, J.F.B.., 2021. Microbial quality and labeling of minimally processed fruits and vegetables. Bioscience Journal [online], vol. 37, pp. e37059. [Accessed14 August 2022]. DOI 10.14393/BJ-v37n0a2021-53734. Available from: https://seer.ufu.br/index.php/biosciencejournal/article/view/53734.

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Section

Agricultural Sciences