Fresh vegetables are recommended for the daily diet because of their low caloric content, high amountof vitamins, minerals and fiber. Furthermore, these foods are source of various phytochemical compoundssuch as polyphenols, flavonoids and sterols exerting antioxidant activity. Some epidemiologicaland clinical studies clearly showed that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables might reduce the riskof some diseases, including some forms of cancer. Modern consumers pay a great attention to the“convenience foods”, foods characterized by ease of consumption. In particular, ready-to-eat productsmaintain almost all characteristics of fresh harvested products. These products are minimally processedand do not undergo further manipulation before consumption. However, ready to eat vegetablesmight represent a potential danger for the human health due to the high risk of growth of undesirablemicroorganisms. Bacteria belonging to the species Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp. and Listeriamonocytogenes are the most common food pathogens that contaminate fresh vegetables and ready toeat vegetables. These microorganisms constitute one the most important causes of human infections. Besides the contamination deriving from the directcontact with soil, the manure from domesticor wild animals and the inappropriate packaging,the most frequent source of contaminationby enteric bacteria is represented by the irrigationwater. The application of inappropriate temperaturesduring storage determine the rapid increaseof microbial levels in fresh cut vegetables.
|Numero di pagine||12|
|Rivista||LA RIVISTA DI SCIENZA DELL'ALIMENTAZIONE|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2017|