Whole iceberg lettuce heads were treated with 1.5% lactic acid plus 2.0% hydrogen peroxide solution (antibacterial solution) at 22C for 5 min. They were then either rinsed by immersing in running tap water for 5 min or neutralized with 2.5% sodium bicarbonate solution at 22C for 5 min followed by rinsing (immersion in running tap water) for 10 min, draining, and storing in sealed plastic containers at 5C for 0, 6, and 10 days along with untreated controls. The antibacterial treatment resulted in marginally acceptable lettuce at day 0; neutralization resulted in acceptable lettuce at day 0 but unacceptable after 6 and 10 days. Consumers indicated willingness to purchase an antibacterial solution to treat lettuce at home as well as lettuce pretreated at the packinghouse/processing plant; they were willing to pay at least 3 to 5 cents more per head for pretreated lettuce. Antibacterial treatment plus neutralization provided acceptable lettuce if used in less than 6 days.


Agribusiness, Education, and Communication

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© Copyright 2002 by Food & Nutrition Press, Inc., Trumbull, Connecticut.

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Journal of Food Quality