New research out of Washington State University shows that ultraviolet C light can help kill foodborne pathogens on certain fruits.
The light, which cannot penetrate opaque, solid objects, destroys the nucleic acid and disrupts the DNA of microorganisms. It’s been used for years to sanitize food contact surfaces, as well as drinking water.
Shyam Sablani, an associate professor in the WSU Department of Biological Systems Engineering, and his team tested the effect of the UVC light on apples, pears, strawberries, raspberries and cantaloupe contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes.
The effectiveness of the treatment differed depending on the pathogen, the fruit’s surface, the dose of light and the length of exposure. For example, pears required a higher dose of light than apples to reduce E. coli, and raspberries needed more time than strawberries. Read more.
Food Safety News, 23 July 15