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Water 2017, 9(1), 27; doi:10.3390/w9010027

Influence of UV Treatment on the Food Safety Status of a Model Aquaponic System

Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA
Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA
Department of Horticulture, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA
Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA
Author is no longer with Iowa State University.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: M. Haïssam Jijakli and Ranka Junge
Received: 12 September 2016 / Revised: 30 November 2016 / Accepted: 21 December 2016 / Published: 6 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquaponics: Toward a Sustainable Water-Based Production System?)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1702 KB, uploaded 6 January 2017]   |  


Few microbial studies in aquaponics, a growing trend in food production, have been conducted to determine food safety status. The aim of this study was to determine the food safety status and the effectiveness of ultraviolet treatment (15 W, luminous flux of 900 lm) as a food safety intervention in reducing the microbial loads of the water system in a model aquaponic unit growing lettuce, basil, and barramundi (Australian Sea Bass). Sweet basil, bibb lettuce, water samples, and fish swabs were collected throughout the 118-day production period, and microbial analysis was conducted in triplicate for the presence of E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella spp., and the prevalence of aerobic plate counts (APC), coliforms, and fecal coliforms in these systems. Absence of foodborne pathogens was confirmed using ELISA technology and enumeration through petrifilms (coliform/E. coli). A significant increase was observed in aerobic plate counts over the trial period (1 to 3 log10 CFU·mL−1) in the presence and absence of UV (p > 0.05). Ultraviolet treatment did not significantly reduce the APC or coliform counts when compared to the control system samples. Future work should focus on improving the unit design, the evaluation of bio-solid filtration, and other food safety interventions. View Full-Text
Keywords: aquaponics; barramundi; basil; food safety; lettuce; recirculating aquaculture systems; ultraviolet treatment aquaponics; barramundi; basil; food safety; lettuce; recirculating aquaculture systems; ultraviolet treatment

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Elumalai, S.D.; Shaw, A.M.; Pattillo, D.A.; Currey, C.J.; Rosentrater, K.A.; Xie, K. Influence of UV Treatment on the Food Safety Status of a Model Aquaponic System. Water 2017, 9, 27.

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