Alfalfa sprouts have high nutritional values when consumed raw, but are easily contaminated by food pathogens. This study aimed to evaluate effects of essential oil (EO) vapors, RF heating and their combinations on microbial inactivation, germination rate and generated sprouts' quality of alfalfa seeds at moisture contents of 7.52%, 9.53% and 11.45% wet basis (w.b.). Results showed that cinnamon oil and oregano oil vapors both had antimicrobial effects against Salmonella on alfalfa seeds and cinnamon oil vapor had a little better activity. Weibull model well fitted the Salmonella inactivation curves under RF heating. The rate of Salmonella inactivation increased but germination rate decreased with increasing temperature and moisture content of seeds. The intermittent RF treatments improved the heating uniformity and germination rate of the whole batch of seeds as compared to the continuous RF heating. The combination of intermittent RF heating and cinnamon oil vapor exhibited additive antimicrobial effects, up...

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