Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Microbiological Quality of Ready-To-Eat Salads During Shelf Life and Home Refrigeration

Version 1 : Received: 20 July 2020 / Approved: 22 July 2020 / Online: 22 July 2020 (10:09:19 CEST)

How to cite: Arienzo, A.; Murgia, L.; Fraudentali, I.; Gallo, V.; Angelini, R.; Antonini, G. Microbiological Quality of Ready-To-Eat Salads During Shelf Life and Home Refrigeration. Preprints 2020, 2020070512 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202007.0512.v1). Arienzo, A.; Murgia, L.; Fraudentali, I.; Gallo, V.; Angelini, R.; Antonini, G. Microbiological Quality of Ready-To-Eat Salads During Shelf Life and Home Refrigeration. Preprints 2020, 2020070512 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202007.0512.v1).

Abstract

The market of ready-to-eat salads is experiencing a noticeable growth in Europe. The commercial success of these products is linked to the growing demand for fresh, healthy and nutritionally valuable products that can be consumed without preparation time and are perceived as safe and very high-quality products. Since they are intended to be consumed without additional treatments, these ready-to-eat products are associated with a high microbiological risk. The aim of this work was to evaluate the microbiological quality and safety of ready-to-eat salads sold in widespread supermarket chains in Lazio, Italy, at the packaging date, during shelf-life and during home-refrigeration. The study also aimed to determine the differences between low, medium and high cost products. Salmonella spp., L. monocytogenes were chosen as safety indicators as specified by European regulations while total aerobic mesophilic bacteria and Escherichia coli were chosen as quality indicators as suggested by national guidelines. Analyses were performed following the ISO standards and in parallel, for the evaluation of total aerobic mesophilic bacteria, with an alternative colorimetric system, the MBS method, in order to propose a simple, affordable and accurate alternative for testing the microbiological quality of products, especially suitable for small and medium enterprises and on-site analyses.

Subject Areas

RTE salads; Microbiological quality; shelf-life; MBS method

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