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Minimally processed fruits as vehicles for foodborne pathogens

  • Received: 08 October 2022 Revised: 21 December 2022 Accepted: 04 January 2023 Published: 13 January 2023
  • The consumption of minimally processed fruit (MPF) has increased over the last decade due to a novel trend in the food market along with the raising consumers demand for fresh, organic, convenient foods and the search for healthier lifestyles. Although represented by one of the most expanded sectors in recent years, the microbiological safety of MPF and its role as an emergent foodborne vehicle has caused great concern to the food industry and public health authorities. Such food products may expose consumers to a risk of foodborne infection as they are not subjected to prior microbial lethal methods to ensure the removal or destruction of pathogens before consumption. A considerable number of foodborne disease cases linked to MPF have been reported and pathogenic strains of Salmonella enterica, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, as well as Norovirus accounted for the majority of cases. Microbial spoilage is also an issue of concern as it may result in huge economic losses among the various stakeholders involved in the manufacturing and commercialization of MPF. Contamination can take place at any step of production/manufacturing and identifying the nature and sources of microbial growth in the farm-to-fork chain is crucial to ensure appropriate handling practices for producers, retailers, and consumers. This review aims to summarize information about the microbiological hazards associated with the consumption of MPF and also highlight the importance of establishing effective control measures and developing coordinated strategies in order to enhance their safety.

    Citation: Jessie Melo, Célia Quintas. Minimally processed fruits as vehicles for foodborne pathogens[J]. AIMS Microbiology, 2023, 9(1): 1-19. doi: 10.3934/microbiol.2023001

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  • The consumption of minimally processed fruit (MPF) has increased over the last decade due to a novel trend in the food market along with the raising consumers demand for fresh, organic, convenient foods and the search for healthier lifestyles. Although represented by one of the most expanded sectors in recent years, the microbiological safety of MPF and its role as an emergent foodborne vehicle has caused great concern to the food industry and public health authorities. Such food products may expose consumers to a risk of foodborne infection as they are not subjected to prior microbial lethal methods to ensure the removal or destruction of pathogens before consumption. A considerable number of foodborne disease cases linked to MPF have been reported and pathogenic strains of Salmonella enterica, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, as well as Norovirus accounted for the majority of cases. Microbial spoilage is also an issue of concern as it may result in huge economic losses among the various stakeholders involved in the manufacturing and commercialization of MPF. Contamination can take place at any step of production/manufacturing and identifying the nature and sources of microbial growth in the farm-to-fork chain is crucial to ensure appropriate handling practices for producers, retailers, and consumers. This review aims to summarize information about the microbiological hazards associated with the consumption of MPF and also highlight the importance of establishing effective control measures and developing coordinated strategies in order to enhance their safety.



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    Acknowledgments



    This work was supported by MED/UIDB/05183/2020 funded by FCT - Foundation for Science and Technology.

    Conflict of interest



    The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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