Evaluation of chlorine dioxide gas as a sanitizer for fresh fruits and vegetables

Pummeling samples in a Stomacher blender (Seward Medical, Ltd., London, U.K.) was also evaluated as a procedure to remove Salmonella, yeasts, and molds from berries. Samples were prepared as described for the wash method, except that, instead of washing berries, strawberries were pummeled at normal speed for 1 min in a Stomacher 400 blender and blueberries and raspberries were pummeled in for 1 min in a Stomacher 80 blender.

Treatment was least effective in sanitizing raspberries, fresh-cut lettuce, and onions. Yeasts and molds, in comparison to bacterial pathogens, were less susceptible to gaseous ClO2. Evaluation to determine the effects of gaseous ClO2 treatment on sensory quality indicated that treated and untreated berries stored at 8°C for up to 10 days were not significantly different. Chlorine dioxide gas shows promise as a sanitizer on fresh produce.

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