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.
IJFE is devoted to engineering disciplines related to processing foods. The areas of interest include heat, mass transfer and fluid flow in food processing; food microstructure development and characterization; application of artificial intelligence in food engineering research and in industry; food biotechnology; and mathematical modeling and software development for food processing purposes.