Growers know it is impossible to eliminate 100% of pathogens in fresh produce. Best food safety practices include minimizing contamination opportunities in the field and controlling cross-contamination in produce wash lines where a small amount of pathogens can spread to a large batch of products. SmartWash Solutions® is expanding access and distribution of the company’s SmartWash Boost™ product. A patent-pending process aid used to pretreat fresh-cut produce items before washing and proven in studies by the USDA-ARS to significantly limit the potential for cross-contamination before it starts.
SmartWash Boost combines Pure Bioscience’s® product PURE® Control, containing Silver Dihydrogen Citrate (SDC)—the patented molecule utilizing stabilized ionic silver known for its antibacterial properties—and SmartWash Solutions’ chemistry to “boost” established free chlorine wash process lethality, resulting in a 2.94 log reduction of Listeria monocytogenes and a 3.15 log reduction of E. coli 0157:H7.
“SmartWash Boost serves as an initial kill step, eliminating most E. coli and other pathogens before they have the opportunity to contaminate a wash line and spread to other products,” said Steven Swarts, director of business development at SmartWash Solutions. “Combined with SmartWash® or SmartWash® Organic wash line chemistry and our Pinpoint Process Control™ systems, the result is the virtual elimination of the risk of outbreaks from leafy greens and fresh-cut produce.”
The recent study presented by the USDA-ARS confirmed and documented the increased effectiveness of adding SmartWash Boost™ to existing produce food safety protocols. Measurements of tissue integrity and headspace gas composition also demonstrated the shelf life, quality, and appearance of fresh-cut produce products were unaffected.
“Since the costs of an outbreak in terms of response, lost sales, and damage to brand reputation are so significant, it makes sound economic sense for companies to achieve the highest level of pathogen control possible, and the combination of SmartWash® and SmartWash Boost™ provides that level of protection,” Swarts continued. “This USDA study showed extraordinary results in fresh cut lettuce, and we are continually researching additional applications for this product, with promising data already arising for several fruit and vegetable commodities that are not currently processed on a traditional wash line.”
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