(UV) light. 16 These physical additions
to chemical treatment are innovative
approaches, and continued work aimed
at translating these laboratory studies to
industry application is feasible.
It therefore seems probable that a
change in each variable of a wash solu-
tion used (e.g., surfactant that removes
pathogens off fresh-cut and fresh
produce, degree of physical agitation/
ultrasound and time) and sanitation
solution used (e.g., concentration, con-
trolling organics dissolved in solution,
pH, physical method during treatment
and time) could be standardized to ac-
commodate the maximum reduction
of microbial pathogens on all high-risk
produce commodities. For example, a
wash-and-sanitation system device could
be developed (Figure 3) that controls
each of these variables based on the
type of produce to be treated. The op-
erational steps could include:
• Remove outer leaves, if any; rinse
produce with tap water spray to re-
move debris in rinse sink.
• Stage produce into a removable perforated produce colander/container.
• Insert produce colander/container into washer; fill with wash treatment solution;
soak for defined time; drain.
• Fill and soak produce for defined time with agitation, ultrasonic vibrations and/
or UV light in ice-cold treatment sanitizer solution (e.g., ozone, HOCl), controlling organic load and pH by draining solution and keeping chemical concentration stable. O3 or HOCl would be generated on demand at designated concentration and pH.
• Each produce commodity type (e.g., different leafy greens like chopped lettuce
or romaine lettuce, tomatoes, berries or sprouts) would probably have a different
Figure 3. Proposed Produce Wash-and-Sanitation Device
to remove dirt
Control panel will include
volume control for
treatment solution levels
(high & low)
to meet volume/
Top locks during fill, soak, rinse and spin-dry
Let’s start a conversation about your next food testing project.
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