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MICROBIAL SPOILAGE OF VEGETABLES AND ITS CONTROL MEASURES: A REVIEW. P. Saranraj, D. Stella and D. Reetha

MICROBIAL SPOILAGE OF VEGETABLES AND ITS CONTROL MEASURES: A REVIEW.

P. Saranraj, D. Stella and D. Reetha

International Journal of Natural Product Science 2012; 2(2): 1-12.

Abstract
Consumption of vegetable products has dramatically increased in India during the past few decades. It is also estimated that about 20% vegetables produced is lost each year due to spoilage. This review paper will address the characteristics of spoilage microorganisms associated with vegetable categories including spoilage mechanisms, spoilage defects, prevention and control of spoilage, and methods for detecting spoilage microorganisms. Spoilage microorganisms can be introduced in the crop on the seed itself, during crop growth in the field, during harvesting and postharvest handling, or during storage and distribution. Many thermal and non-thermal technologies have been developed to control microorganisms on fresh-cut produce. Chemical technologies can be divided into gas-phase sanitation and liquid-phase sanitation based on the physical state of the chemical used. The most widely used chemical treatment in the fresh-cut produce industry is chlorinated water. In addition to these active control measures, other factors important in the prevention of microbial spoilage include raw material quality, processing technologies, good manufacturing practices (GMP), packaging, and temperature management. Processing techniques, including peeling, cutting, washing, and dewatering, also influence the vulnerability of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables to microbiological spoilage. This review addresses microbial spoilage of vegetables, impact of microbial spoilage in vegetables, sources of microbial contamination in vegetables, characteristics of vegetable spoilage microorganisms, methods for detection and isolation of spoilage microorganisms and prevention of microbial spoilage.

Key words: Vegetables, Microbial spoilage, Bacteria, Fungi and Prevention.
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