Efficacy of Sodium Hypochlorite and Acidified Sodium Chlorite in Preventing Browning and Microbial Growth on Fresh-Cut Produce

  • Sun, Shih-Hui (Department of Food and Nutrition, Kyung Hee University) ;
  • Kim, Su-Jin (Department of Food and Nutrition, Kyung Hee University) ;
  • Kwak, Soo-Jin (Department of Food and Nutrition, Kyung Hee University) ;
  • Yoon, Ki-Sun (Department of Food and Nutrition, Kyung Hee University)
  • Received : 2012.02.12
  • Accepted : 2012.06.27
  • Published : 2012.09.30


The use of suitable sanitizers can increase the quality of fresh-cut produce and reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses. The objective of this study was to compare the washing effects of 100 mg/L sodium hypochlorite (SH) and 500 mg/L acidified sodium chlorite (ASC) on the prevention of enzymatic browning and the growth of microbial populations, including aerobic plate counts, E. coli, and coliforms, throughout storage at $4^{\circ}C$ and $10^{\circ}C$. Fresh-cut zucchini, cucumbers, green bell peppers, and root vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, and radishes were used. Compared to SH washing, ASC washing significantly (p<0.05) reduced microbial contamination on the fresh-cut produce and prevented browning of fresh-cut potatoes and sweet potatoes during storage. More effective inhibition of aerobic plate counts and coliforms growth was observed on fresh-cut produce treated with ASC during storage at $10^{\circ}C$. Polyphenol oxidase (PPO) activity of fresh-cut potatoes and sweet potatoes was more effectively inhibited after washing with ASC. The use of 500 mg/L ASC can provide effective antimicrobial and anti-browning treatments of fresh-cut produce, including processed root vegetables.


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