Ciência e Agrotecnologia
Print version ISSN 1413-7054
PAULA, Nélio Ranieli Ferreira de et al. Quality of fresh-cut produce commercialized on supermarket shelves in the cities of Lavras-MG, Brasília-DF, and São Paulo-SP. Ciênc. agrotec. [online]. 2009, vol.33, n.1, pp. 219-227. ISSN 1413-7054. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-70542009000100031.
The production of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables has shown an outstanding growth in the latest years, due to the remarkable changes in the consumers' life style, such as family reduction, search for convenience and increased awareness of a wholesome food diet which meets the requirements of food safety. The aim of this work was to characterize the physicochemical and microbiological quality of fresh-cut produce collected from shelves of supermarkets in Lavras, Brasília and São Paulo as so to guide their suppliers and consumers for the need for an increased quality control due to the risks of contamination of raw material by pathogenic and decay-causing microorganisms. 144 samples were submitted to pH, titratable acidity, soluble solid analyses and microbiological analyses (coliforms at 45ºC, Salmonella sp. and Escherichia coli). The results showed significant alterations in pH values. A decrease in acidity and soluble solids during storage was found. Contamination by coliforms at 45ºC during manufacture was verified in 50% of the presence verified. We have isolated Escherichia coli, which evidences contamination coming from inadequately cleaned raw material or by their presence on the handlers. However, no contamination by Salmonella sp. was detected. Our results indicate the need of the implementation of the Good Handling Practices for the quality control of these produce.
Keywords : Microbiology; quality; fresh-cut produce.