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Development of a Laboratory Scale Clean-In-Place System To Test the Effectiveness of ''Natural'' Antimicrobials against Dairy Biofilms

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A laboratory scale system, partially reproducing dairy plant conditions, was developed to quantify the effectiveness of chlorine and alternative sanitizers in reducing the number of viable bacteria attached to stainless steel surfaces. Stainless steel tubes fouled in a continuous flow reactor were exposed to a standard clean-in-place regime (water rinse, 1% sodium hydroxide at 70°C for 10 min, water rinse, 0.8% nitric acid at 70°C for 10 min, water rinse) followed by exposure to either chlorine (200 ppm) or combinations of nisin (500 ppm), lauricidin (100 ppm), and the lactoperoxidase system (LPS) (200 ppm) for 10 min or 2, 4, 8, 18, or 24 h. There was significant variation in the effectiveness of the alkaline-acid wash steps in reducing cell numbers (log reduction between 0 and 2). Following a 10-min treatment, none of the sanitizers significantly reduced the number of attached cells. Two hours of exposure to chlorine, nisin + the LPS, or lauricidin + the LPS achieved 2.8, 2.2, and 1.6 log reductions, respectively. Exposure times > 2 h did not further decrease the number of viable bacteria attached to the stainless steel. The effectiveness of combinations of nisin, lauricidin, and the LPS was similar to that of chlorine (P > 0.05), and these sanitizers could be used to decontaminate the surfaces of small-volume or critical hard-to-clean milk processing equipment.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Microbiology, University of Otago, P.O. Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand 2: Department of Food Science, University of Otago, P.O. Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand

Publication date: July 1, 2004

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