Dike O Ukuku, David J Geveke, Sudarsan Mukhopadhyay, Modesto Olanya and Vijay Juneja
For health reasons, people are consuming fresh juices or minimally processed fruit and vegetable juices, thereby, exposing themselves to the risk of foodborne illness if such juices are contaminated with bacteria pathogens. Behavior of aerobic mesophilic bacteria, Escherichia coli O157:H7, L. monocytogenes and Salmonella cells at 104 CFU/ml in apple cider (pH 3.9) and apple juice (pH 3.6), amended with nisin (500 IU/ml)+ethylene diaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA, 0.02 M) combination treatment and storage at 5°C and 10°C for 10 days as well as 22ºC for 16 h was investigated. Populations of aerobic mesophilic bacteria increased in untreated apple cider stored at 5°C and 10°C for 10 days while E. coli O157:H7, L. monocytogenes and Salmonella slightly declined. A slight increase for E. coli O157:H7, L. monocytogenes and Salmonella in juices stored at room temperature (22°C) was observed. Treatment of juices with nisin+EDTA led to higher inactivation of bacterial populations including inoculated populations of E. coli O157:H7, L. monocytogenes and Salmonella. The surviving populations determined within 10 to 30 min of treatment include 18% of injured cells. And leakage of UV- absorbing materials were higher in samples containing the injured bacteria. The injured populations did not recover during storage at 5 or 22°C. Waiting up to 4 h before refrigeration of treated samples and leaving treated refrigerated samples at room temperature for up to 4 h did not cause significant changes in microbial populations. Addition of nisin+EDTA combination in unpasteurized apple cider or apple juice as a natural antimicrobial will improve the microbial safety of the juices. However, treatment of juices with nisin+EDTA combination is still subject to regulatory approval by the FDA.