Pathogenic contamination is a food safety concern. This study was conducted to investigate the efficacy of neutral electrolyzed water (NEW) in killing pathogens, namely, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Vibrio vulnificus, Salmonella Enteritidis, and Escherichia coli in shrimp. Pure cultures of each pathogen were submerged separately in NEW containing five different chlorine concentrations: 10, 30, 50, 70, and 100 ppm. For each concentration, three submersion times were tested: 1, 3, and 5 min. The population of V. parahaemolyticus was rapidly reduced even at low concentrations, but prolonged contact times caused only a slight reduction. V. vulnificus was gradually inhibited with increasing NEW concentrations and contact times. For the V. parahaemolyticus applications of 70 ppm for 5 min and of 100 ppm for 3 min, each eliminated 7 log CFU/ml. For V. vulnificus, applications of 50 ppm for 3 min and 100 ppm for 1 min, each eliminated 7 log CFU/ml. Salmonella Enteritidis and E. coli were slightly reduced by NEW. Applications of 50 ppm for 15 min and 10 ppm for 30 min completely eliminated 4.16 log CFU/g of V. parahaemolyticus in inoculated shrimp, while only a 1-log CFU/g reduction of V. vulnificus was detected. Soaking shrimp in 10 ppm NEW for 30 min did not affect its sensory quality. Our results suggest NEW could be an alternative sanitizer to improve the microbiological quality of seafood.

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