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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012, Article ID 127805, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1100/2012/127805
Research Article

Changes in Bacterial Composition of Zucchini Flowers Exposed to Refrigeration Temperatures

Institute of Sciences of Food Production, National Research Council of Italy (CNR-ISPA), Via. G. Amendola 122/o, 70126 Bari, Italy

Received 20 October 2011; Accepted 8 December 2011

Academic Editor: Mario Vaneechoutte

Copyright © 2012 F. Baruzzi et al. 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.

Abstract

Microbial spoilage is one of the main factors affecting the quality of fresh fruits and vegetables, leading to off-flavor, fermented aroma, and tissue decay. The knowledge of microbial growth kinetics is essential for estimating a correct risk assessment associated with consuming raw vegetables and better managing the development of spoilage microorganisms. This study shows, for the first time, that only a part of total microbial community, originally present on fresh harvested female zucchini flowers, was able to adapt itself to refrigerated conditions. Through the study of microbial growth kinetics it was possible to isolate forty-four strains belonging to twenty-two species of the genera Acinetobacter, Arthrobacter, Bacillus, Enterobacter, Erwinia, Klebsiella, Pantoea, Pseudoclavibacter, Pseudomonas, Serratia, Staphylococcus, and Weissella, suggesting Enterobacteriaceae as potentially responsible for pistil spoilage.