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The use of sanitizers is essential for produce safety. However, little is known about how sanitizer efficacy varies with respect to the chemical surface properties of produce. To answer this question, the disinfection efficacies of an oxidant-based sanitizer and a new surfactant-based sanitizer for porcine rotavirus (PRV) strain OSU were examined. PRV was attached to the leaf surfaces of two kale cultivars with high epicuticular wax contents and one cultivar of endive with a low epicuticular wax content and then treated with each sanitizer. The efficacy of the oxidant-based sanitizer correlated with leaf wax content as evidenced by the 1-log10 PRV disinfection on endive surfaces (low wax content) and 3-log10 disinfection of the cultivars with higher wax contents. In contrast, the surfactant-based sanitizer showed similar PRV disinfection efficacies (up to 3 log10) that were independent of leaf wax content. A statistical difference was observed with the disinfection efficacies of the oxidant-based sanitizer for suspended and attached PRV, while the surfactant-based sanitizer showed similar PRV disinfection efficacies. Significant reductions in the entry and replication of PRV were observed after treatment with either disinfectant. Moreover, the oxidant-based-sanitizer-treated PRV showed sialic acid-specific binding to the host cells, whereas the surfactant-based sanitizer increased the nonspecific binding of PRV to the host cells. These findings suggest that the surface properties of fresh produce may affect the efficacy of virus disinfection, implying that food sanitizers should be carefully selected for the different surface characteristics of fresh produce.

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Fuzawa, Miyu., Ku, Kang-Mo., Palma-Salgado, Sindy Paola., Nagasaka, Kenya., Feng, Hao., Juvik, John A.,… Dudley, E. G. (2016). Effect Of Leaf Surface Chemical Properties On Efficacy Of Sanitizer For Rotavirus Inactivation. Applied And Environmental Microbiology, 82(20), 6214-6222.



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