To determine the effectiveness of gaseous chlorine dioxide (gClO2) against a human norovirus surrogate on produce, gClO2 was generated and applied to Tulane virus-coated blueberries in a 240 ml-treatment chamber. gClO2 was produced by an acidifying sodium chlorite solution. Initial assessments indicated that blueberries treated with gClO2 generated from ≤1 mg acidified sodium chlorite in the small chamber appeared unaffected while gClO2 generated from ≥10 mg of acidified sodium chlorite solution altered the appearance and quality of the blueberries. Treatments of inoculated blueberries with gClO2 generated from 0.1 mg sodium chlorite reduced the virus populations by >1 log after exposure for 30 to 330 min. For the 1 mg sodium chlorite treatments, the virus populations were reduced by >2.2 log after 15 min exposure and to non-detectable levels (>3.3 logs reductions) after 180 min exposure. Measured concentrations of gClO2 peaked in the treatment chamber at 0.9 μg/l after 10 min for 0.1 mg treatments and 600 μg/l after around 20 min for 1 mg treatment. Overall results indicate that gClO2 could be a feasible waterless intervention for blueberries and other produce.
Keywords: Blueberries; Chlorine dioxide; Gaseous; Norovirus.
Published by Elsevier B.V.