Metabiosis of proteolytic fungi and Salmonellae in sound and chill-injured tomatoes
Wade, Wendy Nicole
MetadataShow full item record
Outbreaks of salmonellosis associated with the consumption of raw tomatoes have been documented. Fungi were isolated from decayed and damaged tomatoes, tested for proteolytic activity, and any growth-associated pH changes in tomato-based media. Select proteolytic molds were co-inoculated with Salmonella in sound tomatoes, stored at 15 and 25ºC or into tomatoes chilled at 4 and 15ºC 13 days prior to storage at 25ºC. Salmonella populations were evaluated at 0, 1, 3, 7, and 10 days. Decayed and damaged tomatoes yielded fungi, which exhibited proteolytic activity (33.1%) and increased the pH of tomato-based media. Tomatoes inoculated with both proteolytic molds and Salmonella yielded higher increases in pH of tissues and larger Salmonella populations. Growth of molds was enhanced by chill-injury, although there was no difference in Salmonella populations or pH in chilled tomatoes compared to sound tomatoes.