Special Issue "Food Safety Pertinent to Fresh Produce"

A special issue of Horticulturae (ISSN 2311-7524).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Amarat Simonne
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Family, Youth and Community Sciences; Food Environmental Toxicology Laboratory, University of Florida, 3025 McCarty Hall, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
Interests: food pathogens; bell pepper; Lactuca sativa; microbial safety; organic produce; hydroponic; antimicrobial, and culinary herbs
Dr. Monica Ozores-Hampton
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
South West Florida Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, State Road 29 N, Immokalee, FL 34142, USA
Interests: vegetable production; soil fertility; fertilizer nutrient use efficiency; compost utilization
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fresh produce safety is a complex subject. In general, fresh produce safety is related to microbial and chemical contaminations and the levels of contaminations depend on the environmental factors such as soil, water, cultural practices (i.e. hydroponic, field grown, protected agriculture), handling and processing as well as others. Types and edible parts of fresh produce can also impact food safety. To further complicate the issue, different regions of the world may not perceive produce safety issue in the same maners due to lack of data and resources. In a more developed regions of the world such as the European Union, and U.S.A. where epedimiological data is well developed and tracking of food safety data is more advanced, the food safety standards, requirements, and regulations tend to be more structured, but may not be uniform. For example, tn the U.S.A. illnesses related to fresh produce are well documented and theirefore produce safety is considered one of the significant public health issues. The majority of fresh produce related illnesses in the US are due to microbial contamination; this result in highten fresh produce safety standard from production to consumption. In EU, fresh produce safety is part of the integrateted plant program include many issues such as GMO, fresh produce safety and climate changes. In the rest of the world such as Asia and Africa, the situation may be different. In lights of global marketing and suply chain, it is scientifically important to explore many facets of fresh produce safety in order to address such complex issues globally.

The objectives of this Special Issues on food safety pertinent to fresh produce are to solicit research data related to fresh produce safety from production to consumption from around the world. The information may include, but not limit to:

Fresh produce safety (i.e. chemical and microbial contamiation) as related to production regiemes; Effects of regional microbiome and soil amendment techniques to microbial and chemical safety; Water safety and quality standard that affect fresh produce safety; Emerging processing techniques that affect fresh produce safety; Effects of food safety regulations and implementation on fresh produce safety;

Best practices to improve produce safety; Prevalent and distribution of microbial or chemical contamination in fresh produce.

Prof. Dr. Amarat Simonne
Dr. Monica Ozores-Hampton
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Horticulturae is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • food safety
  • fresh produce
  • microbial safety of fresh produce
  • enteric pathogens
  • compost
  • produce colonization
  • organic produce
  • conventional produce
  • chemical contamination
  • fresh produce sanitation
  • fresh produce processing
  • produce safety standards
  • fresh produce safety regulation
  • post-harvest

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Precision Crop Load Management of Apple (Malus x domestica Borkh.) without Chemicals
Horticulturae 2019, 5(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae5010003 - 28 Dec 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Fruit thinning is an important management practice in commercial apple production. The standard industry practice for crop load management in many countries is based on bloom and/or post-bloom chemical thinning (CT) followed up with hand thinning. However, the response to CT is unpredictable [...] Read more.
Fruit thinning is an important management practice in commercial apple production. The standard industry practice for crop load management in many countries is based on bloom and/or post-bloom chemical thinning (CT) followed up with hand thinning. However, the response to CT is unpredictable and there is an increasing awareness of the environmental impact of many chemicals. Hence there is a need to find alternate environmentally acceptable methods for managing crop load. Artificial bud extinction (ABE), a thinning method that imitates natural bud extinction by manually removing buds before bud break, has been suggested as a potential tool to replace chemical thinning, but there have been no studies comparing ABE and chemical thinning. Trials were established in Tasmania, Australia to determine how ABE technology compares with best practice CT programs in terms of yield, fruit quality, and cost of implementation. Results from these trials demonstrated consistent fruit set of both Gala and Fuji apple under ABE management compared with conventional management. Fruit weight was increased in all ABE treatments from 5% up to 38%. The four studies presented here have demonstrated that ABE is a feasible alternative to chemical thinning, improving reliability of crop load management with increased predictability of fruit size and yield. Trees are significantly thinned before flowering, controlling biennial bearing. In addition, bud position is optimised, fruit is well spaced and light distribution into the canopy is enhanced. In terms of costs, implementation of ABE is comparable to managing crop load with CT programs but has the advantage that crop load management costs reduce in subsequent years after the initial tree set-up. ABE is also suitable for use in organic apple orchards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety Pertinent to Fresh Produce)
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Open AccessArticle
RNA Helicase Mediates Competitive Fitness of Listeria monocytogenes on the Surface of Cantaloupe
Horticulturae 2018, 4(4), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4040040 - 14 Nov 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen that is implicated in numerous outbreaks of disease (listeriosis) via fresh produce. The genetic features of L. monocytogenes that allow adherence and growth on produce remain largely uncharacterized. In this study, two non-motile transposon mutants were characterized [...] Read more.
Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen that is implicated in numerous outbreaks of disease (listeriosis) via fresh produce. The genetic features of L. monocytogenes that allow adherence and growth on produce remain largely uncharacterized. In this study, two non-motile transposon mutants were characterized for attachment, growth, and survival on the surface of cantaloupe rind. One of the mutants, L1E4, harbored a single transposon insertion in a DEAD-box RNA helicase gene (lmo0866 homolog), while the other, M1A5, harbored an insertion in a gene from a flagellum biosynthesis and chemotaxis gene cluster (lmo0694 homolog). When inoculated alone, neither mutant was significantly impaired in growth or survival on the surface of cantaloupe at either 25 or 37 °C. However, when co-inoculated with the wildtype parental strain, the RNA helicase mutant L1E4 had a clear competitive disadvantage, while the relative fitness of M1A5 was not noticeably impacted. Genetic complementation of L1E4 with the intact RNA helicase gene restored relative fitness on cantaloupe. The findings suggest that the DEAD-box RNA helicase encoded by the lmo0866 homolog is critical for relative fitness of L. monocytogenes on cantaloupe. Mutant L1E4 was pleiotropic, being not only non-motile but also cold-sensitive and with reduced hemolytic activity, warranting further studies to elucidate the role of this helicase in the competitive fitness of L. monocytogenes on produce. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety Pertinent to Fresh Produce)
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Open AccessArticle
A Comparison between Organic and Conventional Olive Farming in Messenia, Greece
Horticulturae 2018, 4(3), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4030015 - 09 Jul 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Olive farming is one of the most important occupations in Messenia, Greece. The region is considered the largest olive producer in the country and it is recognized as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) for Kalamata olive oil, which is considered extra fine. [...] Read more.
Olive farming is one of the most important occupations in Messenia, Greece. The region is considered the largest olive producer in the country and it is recognized as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) for Kalamata olive oil, which is considered extra fine. In response to the declining trend of organic olive farming in Greece, this study assesses to what extent organic olive farming in Messenia provides a financially and environmentally competitive alternative to conventional olive farming. In this study, 39 olive farmers (23 conventional and 16 organic) participated in interviews based on questionnaires. The results showed that organic olive farming is significantly more profitable than conventional farming, primarily because of a higher price for organic olive oil. Despite this, the majority of the conventional farmers perceived a low profit from organic farming as the main constraint to organic olive farming. All farmers agreed that organic olive farming contributed to a better environment, health and quality of olive oil. Organic farmers used fewer synthetic pesticides and fertilizers and applied more environmentally-friendly ground vegetation management techniques than conventional farmers. Overall, organic farming was found to provide a competitive and sustainable alternative to conventional olive farming in Messenia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety Pertinent to Fresh Produce)
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Open AccessArticle
Coconut Leaf Age and Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle Herbivory Influence Leaflet Nutrients, Metals, and Lignin
Horticulturae 2018, 4(2), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4020009 - 08 Jun 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
The coconut rhinoceros beetle (CRB, Oryctes rhinoceros L.) is a serious pest of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) in many tropical regions, however the influences of CRB herbivory on the coconut leaf chemistry are unknown. This limits our ability to predict the afterlife [...] Read more.
The coconut rhinoceros beetle (CRB, Oryctes rhinoceros L.) is a serious pest of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) in many tropical regions, however the influences of CRB herbivory on the coconut leaf chemistry are unknown. This limits our ability to predict the afterlife decomposition dynamics of the damaged coconut leaf litter. Mature green and senesced leaflet tissues were collected from coconut trees on the island of Guam, where coconut is native and CRB is invasive. Mineral, metal, and lignin concentrations were quantified to determine the nutrient limitations and the litter quality traits. Nitrogen was increased and the elements that are not resorbed during leaf senescence were decreased by the CRB damage. The important litter stoichiometric traits carbon/nitrogen and lignin/nitrogen were decreased by the CRB damage. The results indicate that CRB herbivory may limit green leaf nutrition in Guam’s soils and increase the senesced leaf litter decomposition speed and nutrient turnover rates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety Pertinent to Fresh Produce)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Risk of Human Pathogen Internalization in Leafy Vegetables During Lab-Scale Hydroponic Cultivation
Horticulturae 2019, 5(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae5010025 - 15 Mar 2019
Abstract
Controlled environment agriculture (CEA) is a growing industry for the production of leafy vegetables and fresh produce in general. Moreover, CEA is a potentially desirable alternative production system, as well as a risk management solution for the food safety challenges within the fresh [...] Read more.
Controlled environment agriculture (CEA) is a growing industry for the production of leafy vegetables and fresh produce in general. Moreover, CEA is a potentially desirable alternative production system, as well as a risk management solution for the food safety challenges within the fresh produce industry. Here, we will focus on hydroponic leafy vegetable production (including lettuce, spinach, microgreens, and herbs), which can be categorized into six types: (1) nutrient film technique (NFT), (2) deep water raft culture (DWC), (3) flood and drain, (4) continuous drip systems, (5) the wick method, and (6) aeroponics. The first five are the most commonly used in the production of leafy vegetables. Each of these systems may confer different risks and advantages in the production of leafy vegetables. This review aims to (i) address the differences in current hydroponic system designs with respect to human pathogen internalization risk, and (ii) identify the preventive control points for reducing risks related to pathogen contamination in leafy greens and related fresh produce products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety Pertinent to Fresh Produce)
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