Antibacterial properties of combined non-thermal treatments based on bioactive edible coating, ozonation, and gamma irradiation on ready-to-eat frozen green peppers: evaluation of their freshness and sensory qualities

  • Behnoush Maherani
  • Mehdi Harich
  • Stephane Salmieri
  • Monique LacroixEmail author
Original Paper


Antibacterial activity of an optimized formulation (edible coating), gaseous ozone, γ-irradiation treatments, and their combinations on ready-to-eat frozen pre-cut green peppers against Escherichia coli, Salmonella enteric, and Listeria innocua as foodborne pathogen bacteria, was assessed. In situ results showed that the antibacterial coating presented a large spectrum activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. In addition, ozone gaseous treatment at concentration of 10 ppm during 5 min allowed a total inhibition of E. coli after 4 days and a noticeable log reduction in Listeria and Salmonella during storage time. According to the obtained results, irradiation was the most effective technique to inhibit the growth of bacteria in alone or combined treatments. Different treatments had no significant impact on color parameters of pre-cut green peppers. Furthermore, no significant effect on chlorophyll content of pre-cut green peppers was also observed which is in accordance with the colorimetric results. Some statistical differences were noted in vitamin C content of pre-cut green peppers after coating treatment due to the additional ascorbic acid content in coating formulation, although no negative effect of treatments on the quality of pre-cut green peppers (total AA + DHA content) was observed. Furthermore, the sensory analysis confirmed that treatments had no significant effect (p > 0.05) on sensory attributes of peppers (color, odor, and taste).


Natural antibacterial coating Ozonation Gamma irradiation Foodborne pathogenic bacteria Chlorophyll Ascorbic acid Sensory evaluation 



RESALA Laboratories sincerely thank the Natural Science Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC, Discovery Program), the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ), the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Bonduelle Canada Inc. and Atoka Cranberries Inc. for their financial support, through the Agri-Innovation Program (AIP) Stream B of Canadian Food Innovators (CFI) recipient (Project # PAI-P298). Members of RESALA are also very thankful to M. Michel Casgrain and Dr Rony Chamoun (Bonduelle Americas Inc.) for their precious collaboration, in particular for their professional and scientific support, and the facility delivery of vegetables. Atoka Cranberries Inc. and BSA-Montréal are also acknowledged for respectively providing the concentrated cranberry juice and the fermented dextrose as bioactive components of the coating antimicrobial formulation. The authors would also like to thank Nordion Int. (Laval, QC, Canada) for irradiation treatments. Finally, the project participants are very thankful to M. Serge Pouliot (Ozone Innovations Inc.) for his availability, technical advice and development of the ozonation process throughout the project. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is also acknowledged for his financial support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Behnoush Maherani declares no conflict of interest. Mehdi Harich declares no conflict of interest. Stephane Salmieri declares no conflict of interest. Monique Lacroix declares no conflict of interest.

Compliance with ethics requirements

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Behnoush Maherani
    • 1
  • Mehdi Harich
    • 1
  • Stephane Salmieri
    • 1
  • Monique Lacroix
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier, Research Laboratories in Sciences Applied to FoodNutraceutical Institute and Functional Foods (INAF), Canadian Irradiation CentreLavalCanada

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