Study on the Microbial Quality of Edible Green Vegetables and Methods to Eliminate the Microorganisms by Using Domestic Antiseptic Products
Karen Bautista, Angela Reyes, Thippi Thiagarajan

Vegetables are considered very crucial components of a healthy balanced diet. Green vegetables, in particular, are known for their versatility and popularity in salad-related meals. Many of the vegetables are prone for microbial contamination during the harvesting and transportation before consumption. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of the microbial populations in select vegetable namely Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum), Cabbage (Brassica oleracea), local and Mexican lettuce (Lactuca sativa) and to find an effective and affordable method to eliminate the microbial contaminants without affecting the taste or quality of the product by using household products namely chlorine bleach and Vinegar. The total quantity of Escherichia coli and other lactose fermenting bacteria were determined by using MacConkey Agarand Salmonella and other non-lactose fermenting bacteria were determined by using Brilliant Green agar. A 100 grams of fresh vegetables were placed in 100 ml of sterile distilled water and shaken for 5minutes after which 0.1 ml of the sample was spread on respective agar plates. Results indicated that a 100% of the green leafy vegetables were contaminated with unacceptable levels of both lactose and non-lactose fermenting bacteria. The total concentration of lactose fermenting bacteria was 10⁴ CFU/g and non-lactose fermenting bacteria was 10⁵ CFU/g. Vegetable samples were immersed in different concentration of household bleach (Clorox) and vinegar for three minutes and liquid samples were taken and the microbial load was determined to find the necessary concentration of these products to eliminate the microbes from these vegetables. Clorox at 3% was very effective in removing all bacterial contaminants. A concentration of 3% household chlorine bleach (5.2 % sodium hypochlorite) and 30% household vinegar(5% acetic acid)was effective in eliminating the microbial contaminants from these vegetables. The results indicated that the microbial contamination can be eliminated by soaking the vegetables for three minutes in 3% household bleach or 30% Vinegar.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jaes.v8n2a8