Prevalence, distribution, and diversity of Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella in kiwifruit orchards and processing plants

The kid loves her kiwi (right, not exactly as shown).

I’ve started putting one in her daily lunch, and my wife eats them with skin on, and I just like them.

south.park.sorenne.But are there microbial risks?

Feng et al. report in Foodborne Pathogens and Disease that the aim of the study was to investigate the prevalence, distribution, and diversity of three foodborne bacteria in kiwifruit orchards and processing plants. Fourteen kiwifruit orchards and two processing plants in Shaanxi province were visited for sampling in 2012. Fruit samples and environmental samples in orchards and plants were taken for isolation of Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella. All isolates were characterized by antimicrobial susceptibility testing and detection of virulence genes. Selected isolates were further examined by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis. In total, 160 E. coli isolates and 14 S. aureus isolates were recovered from 407 samples from orchards and plants, while no Salmonella was recovered. E. coli isolates displayed resistance most frequently to streptomycin (65.6%), and S. aureus isolates displayed resistance most frequently to erythromycin (21.4%). Three E. coli isolates (1.9%) were positive for stx2 and two S. aureusisolates (14.3%) were positive for both seb and seh. Seventy-seven E. coli isolates and 14 S. aureus isolates were analyzed by PFGE. PFGE results showed that both E. coli and S. aureus isolates were diverse, and blades for slicing during the processing could be an important contamination source. This study could provide useful information for kiwifruit growers and industry to establish proper management practices that help minimize the chance of microbial contamination from farm to table.

Kiwifruit to help the toots

When I first moved to New Zealand and discovered the delicious gold kiwifruit I went a little overboard, consuming at least four of these a day. Little did I know the sweeter sibling of the green kiwifruit may be helping to keep me from, ummm, embarrassing body functions.  Kiwi researchers have found that kiwifruit may help flatulence, reports The New Zealand Herald. 

We’ve all had those awkward moments when a roomful of people tries to ignore a less-than-fragrant blast from someone’s nether regions. It’s bad enough at work – but much worse on the bus or, heaven forbid, in a lift. Now help could be on the way, with the humble kiwifruit…

Up to one in five men and one in four women suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), with flatulence and constipation among common symptoms. The fruit contains an enzyme called zyactinase, and a small study has shown it could provide relief for IBS sufferers.

Gastroenterologist Dr Russell Walmsley, who worked on the research, said,

"People think of kiwifruit for constipation but it also seemed to be quite good for general irritable bowel.”

Melanie Palmer, communications manager for kiwifruit marketing company Zespri, said the fruit was known for relieving that "blocked and bloated feeling".


"Early results show eating green kiwifruit as part of a meal may improve digestion."

I’m a fan of the Zespri kiwifruit, mainly because they come with a clever little knoon (knife/spoon) for scooping your fruit (see picture, right).