The efficacy of slightly acidic electrolyzed water (SAEW, 20 mg/l of available chlorine) and sodium hypochlorite solution (NaClO, 120 mg/l of available chlorine) used as potential sanitizers for fresh-cut cucumbers was evaluated. SAEW with a near-neutral pH value (5.0 to 6.5) and lower available chlorine concentration (ACC) had an equivalent or higher efficiency to reduce microbial counts on the cucumbers compared to NaClO solution. A 5-minute treatment of SAEW and NaClO solution significantly reduced the indigenous aerobic bacteria on cucumbers by 1.62 and 1.51 log10 CFU/g, and molds and yeasts by 1.35 and 1.12 log10 CFU/g, respectively (P < 0.05). The reduction of microbial counts on cucumbers by tap water was markedly less than that by SAEW and NaClO solution (P < 0.05). Results indicate that SAEW provides an alternative technique for sanitization of fresh-cut vegetables with environmentally friendly broad spectrum microbial decontamination.
©2012 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston