Abstract
EFFICACY OF DIFFERENT WASHING PROTOCOLS IN REDUCING BACTERIAL LOAD IN COMMON VEGETABLES SOLD IN DHAKA CITY

Ashish Kumar Das, Ismail Hossain, Eleas Jahedi, Md. Bakhtiar Lijon, Ripon Kumar and M.M.R. Khalil*

ABSTRACT

Background: Vegetables and fruits can be contaminated with microorganisms from different sources during production and processing. Quality of vegetables usually relies on the quality of processing water and sanitizers used to reduce microbial load and increase shelf-life of vegetables. The present study demonstrates the role of different washing protocols on reducing bacterial load in common vegetables sold in Dhaka city. Result: A total of seventy two samples of eighteen types of fresh vegetables were collected. Total heterotrophic bacteria, coliforms and Enterobacteriaceae were determined in 72 samples of potato, tomato, carrot, cucumber, green chilli, bean, eggplant, cauliflower, turnip, radish, capsicum, pumpkin, cabbage, gourd, papaya, bitter gourd, snake gourd and ridge gourd before and after washing with tap and filtered water, halotab water, bleaching powder (0.2%) solution and bleaching powder (0.2%) with citric acid (0.1%) for 10 minutes. Tap water, filtered water, bleaching powder (0.2%), halotab solution and bleaching powder (0.2%) + citric acid (0.1%) solutions were found to be effective and significantly reduced the bacterial loads in vegetables compared to the unwashed vegetables (P<0.01). Tap water and filtered water wash were found to reduce 0.85-2.05 log10cfu/g and 2.38-3.36 log10cfu/g total bacterial loads in vegetables compared to those of unwashed samples, respectively. Conclusion: The efficiency of washing in terms of reducing the bacterial load depends on the quality of washing water used and the types of disinfectant solutions used. An appropriate washing technique can significantly reduce the bio burden in contaminated vegetables and may reduce the risk of foodborne infections associated with the consumption of vegetables.

Keywords: Vegetable, Disinfectant, Coliform, Bleaching powder, Food borne illness.


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