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Hooshang, Neda, 2012. Enteric bacteria on fruit and vegetables : interaction with bioactive compounds, socio-economic effects of E.coli outbreak in food system. Second cycle, A2E. Alnarp: SLU, Dept. of People and Society



The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of bioactive compounds in the
propagation of verotoxin producing E. coli using ascorbic acid as a model compound and to
identify the socio-economic effects that E. coli outbreak have had on vegetable producers,
retailers and consumers. The study was done in two parts; laboratory experiments and
interviews. One hundred consumers in “Coop” and “Willys” and food quality managers of
“ICA”, “SABA” and “Grönsaksmästare” participated in the study. Close-ended questions
were prepared for consumer’s survey. Open-ended interviews were conducted with food
quality managers. The laboratory studies revealed that bacterial growth occurred only in 10
mM concentration of ascorbic acid (tested levels: 0.1 mM, 1mM, 10 mM, 100mM). Also
bacterial growth in the presence of leaf lysate of three leafy vegetables was proved.
Furthermore the consumers’ surveys indicated that 84% of respondents were aware of the
EHEC (enterohaemorrhagic E. coli) outbreak. But 64% of consumers were not affected in
their food habits by the EHEC outbreak’s news. Interviews with food quality managers
revealed that all three companies have been affected economically by the EHEC outbreak in
2011. Also the interviewees pointed out that the role of media, authorities, and consumer
responsibility is important in the time of outbreak. The information gap between the
authorities and suppliers can damage both producers and retailers. In case of clear evidence of
the interaction between bioactive compounds and EHEC, applying different cultural
management like selection of leafy vegetables with low bioactive compound content in areas
with questionable sanitary irrigation water could be addressed. As a future study studying the
interaction of other bioactive compounds with different strains of verotoxin producing E. coli
is suggested. Furthermore in a broader perspective more collaboration between authorities,
media, industry, and academia is necessary.

Main title:Enteric bacteria on fruit and vegetables
Subtitle:interaction with bioactive compounds, socio-economic effects of E.coli outbreak in food system
Authors:Hooshang, Neda
Supervisor:Alsanius, Beatrix and Nilsson, Kerstin
Examiner:Hultberg, Malin
Series:Självständigt arbete vid LTJ-fakulteten, SLU
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2012
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:LM005 Agroecology - Master's programme 120 HEC
Supervising department:(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of People and Society
Keywords:verotoxin producing E.coli, bioactive compounds, ascorbic acid, EHEC outbreak
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Handling, transport, storage and protection of agricultural products
Human medicine, health, and safety
Deposited On:08 Oct 2012 06:19
Metadata Last Modified:21 Oct 2015 14:27

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