Fresh produce processors have an option to help reduce pathogens on cantaloupe rinds in Birko Corp.’s peroxyacetic acid formulation Birkoside MP-2.

Tests conducted by Modesto, Calif.-based Enviro Tech Chemical Services, showed a 99.2% reduction in the number of Listeria bacteria on cantaloupe rinds compared with a 96.6% reduction when a sodium hypochlorite bleach rinse was used.

Birkoside MP-2 has been sold as a sanitizer for food and beverage processing equipment and as an antimicrobial wash for meat and produce for many years, said Elis Owens, a microbiologist and chemist at Birko Corp.

“Birkoside MP-2 can be very easily implemented into a processor’s system, and many produce processors are already using this or similar products,” Owens said. “It can be used in a secondary washing step, or as a separate application.”

Owens said treating 1,000 gallons of water with Birkoside MP-2 at 100 parts per million costs about $17.