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Effect of Microorganism Characteristics on Leak Size Critical to Predicting Package Sterility

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The effects of microorganism size and motility on the leak size critical to the sterility of a package, along with the imposed pressure required to initiate liquid flow for the critical leak size, were measured. Pseudomonas fragi Lacy-1052, Bacillus atrophaeus ATCC 49337, and Enterobacter aerogenes ATCC 29007 were employed to assess package sterility. One hundred twenty-six 7-mm-long microtubes with interior diameters of 5, 10, and 20 μm were used to simulate package defects. Forty-two solid microtubes were used as controls. No significant differences were found between sizes or motility statuses of test organisms with respect to loss of sterility as a result of microbial ingress into test cells with microtube interior diameters of 5, 10, and 20 μm (P > 0.05). Interactions between the initiation of liquid flow as a result of applied threshold pressures and sterility loss for test cells were significant (P < 0.05).


Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Ball Corporation, Metal Container Operations, 6279 Tri-Ridge Boulevard, Suite 210, Loveland, Ohio 45140, USA 2: Department of Food Science and Technology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA 3: Graham Packaging, York, Pennsylvania, USA 4: College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA 5: Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA 6: Department of Plant Pathology and Weed Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA

Publication date: 2003-09-01

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