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On Cardboard and Plastic Packaging Materials, Spoilage and Pathogenic Microorganisms Survive

Oliver Walton

The purpose of this research was to examine how pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms, which are typically associated with fresh fruit, interact with corrugated and plastic materials. Through conventional plate counting and scanning electron microscopy, the impact of the two packaging materials on the survival of microorganisms from the species Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella enteritidis, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Lactobacillus plantarum, Pseudomonas fluorescens, and Aspergillus flavus during storage was investigated (SEM). The findings indicated that cardboard packaging materials, when stored properly, reduced the risk of food contamination because they lost their viability more quickly than plastic ones due to deterioration and pathogenic microorganisms. In actuality, regardless of the inoculation level and packaging material employed, the cell loads of the pathogenic species under consideration decreased over time. However, when compared to plastic materials, cardboard experienced superficial viability losses much more quickly. For the spoilage bacteria under consideration, the similar tendency was seen. The SEM microphotographs show that the entrapment of the microbial cells within the fibres and pores of this material was responsible for the reduction of superficial contamination on cardboard surfaces. Additionally, SEM data demonstrated that, with the exception of molds, the entrapped cells were subjected to more or less rapid lyses depending on the species due to the lack of water and nutrients. The latter spoilers could only grow inside the cardboard fibres if water absorption was not stopped while being stored. In conclusion, this study's findings demonstrated that corrugated packaging materials, as opposed to plastic ones, have lower crosscontamination potential in the fruit and vegetable industry. The results did highlight the significance of cleanliness and low humidity during cardboard storage to stop mould growth on packaging.

Publicação de revisão por pares para associações, sociedades e universidades pulsus-health-tech