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Revista Politécnica

versão On-line ISSN 2477-8990versão impressa ISSN 1390-0129


HUALPA, Diana; TOLEDO, Zorayda; MENESES, Miguel A.  e  FENG, Peter. Microbiological Quality of Minimally Processed, Ready-to-Eat, Vegetables in Loja, Ecuador. Rev Politéc. (Quito) [online]. 2018, vol.41, n.1, pp.45-50. ISSN 2477-8990.

Minimally processed, ready-to-eat (RTE) vegetables, are consumed raw so have to comply with microbiological requirements to ensure safety and avoid possible foodborne illnesses. The objective of this study was to evaluate the microbiological quality of RTE vegetables: lettuce, spinach, carrot, cabbage with carrot, parsley, parsley curd and coriander that are sold in supermarkets in the city of Loja, Ecuador. A total of 128 samples from 3 production batch were analyzed for total aerobic count, total coliform and E. coli. The aerobic count obtained averaged 6,6 log10 CFU/g and ranged from 4,57 to 7,82 log10 CFU/g. The coliform counts a ranged from 0,48 to > 5,04 log10 MPN/g and in 11 samples >5,04 log10 MPN/g was observed. Generic E. coli was detected in 32 samples at levels less than 6,2 MPN/g. In our study, 50% and 98% of the samples exceeded the reference limits for aerobic and coliform counts, respectively. The results of this study indicate that RTE vegetables have, in some cases, the same microbial load as packaged vegetables that are produced without a disinfection process, and maybe potential vehicles for pathogen transmissions, which means the necessity of regulate the quality assurance of RTE vegetables.

Palavras-chave : microbiological quality; ready-to-eat vegetables; coliforms; Escherichia coli.

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