Synergistic Treatment Combinations

Certain combinations or sequences of treatments may show synergism in inactivating or detaching microbial contaminants on produce. Such behavior might be anticipated if the individual treatments have different modes of action, e.g., cell membrane disruption and oxidation. Several examples of promising combination treatments have been reported: the sequential washing of cantaloupes with detergents and hydrogen peroxide [34] and the application of an acetic acid-hydrogen peroxide combination to inoculated apple disks [102]. Lin et al. [106] investigated the inactivation of E. coli O157:H7, S. enterica serotype Enteritidis, and L. monocytogenes by combinations of hydrogen peroxide and lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide with mild heat. Further research in this area may yield treatment combinations that show greater efficacy towards bacteria located in punctures or pores or incorporated in biofilms on produce surfaces.

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