Antagonistic effect of acetic acid and salt for inactivating Escherichia coli O157:H7 in cucumber puree

S. Y. Lee, M. S. Rhee, R. H. Dougherty, D. H. Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: This study was conducted to investigate the effects of acetic acid alone or combined with salt for inhibiting Escherichia coli O157:H7 in cucumber puree during storage time at 5 and 22°C. Methods and Results: Samples at various concentrations were prepared by the addition of acetic acid (0%, 0·25%, 0·5%, 0·75%, 1%, 2%, 2·5%, or 3%) along with NaCl (0% or 3%) and pureed cucumber (50% or 94%). The effect of storage temperature (5 and 22°C) on the survival of E. coli O157:H7 was also tested. The numbers of E. coli O157:H7 were reduced as the amount of acetic acid increased (P < 0·01) and rate of reduction was more rapid at 22°C than at 5°C. Combinations of acetic acid and salt were less effective at killing E. coli O157:H7 in simulated pickled cucumber samples stored at 5 and 22°C than did treatment of acetic acid alone. The concentration of pureed cucumber affected the reduction rate of E. coli O157:H7. When stored at 5°C, E. coli O157:H7 survived for up to 23 days in a mixture of 94% cucumber puree, 1% acetic acid, and 3% NaCl. Conclusions: There was the antagonistic effect of acetic acid and 3% NaCl with regard to the reduction of E. coli O157:H7. Significance and Impact of the Study: Our results suggest that pickled cucumbers prepared with at least 2% acetic acid and stored at room temperature (22°C) after 3 days storage can free from E. coli O157:H7 without heating.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1361-1368
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Apr


  • Acetic acid
  • Combination treatment
  • Cucumber
  • Escherichia coli O157:H7
  • Salt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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