Inactivation of Enterobacter sakazakii in Reconstituted Infant Formula by Monocaprylin

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Enterobacter sakazakii is an emerging pathogen that causes meningitis, bacteremia, sepsis, and necrotizing enterocolitis in neonates and children, with a mortality rate of 14%. Epidemiological studies have implicated dried infant formula as the principal source of the pathogen. Caprylic acid is a natural eight-carbon fatty acid present in breast milk and bovine milk and is approved as generally recognizable as safe by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration. The objective of this study was to determine the antibacterial effect of monocaprylin (monoglyceride ester of caprylic acid) on E. sakazakii in reconstituted infant formula. A five-strain mixture of E. sakazakii was inoculated into 10-ml samples of reconstituted infant formula (at 6.0 log CFU/ml) followed by 0, 25, or 50 mM (1%) monocaprylin. The samples were incubated at 37 or 23°C for 0, 1, 6, and 24 h and at 8 or 4°C for 0, 6, 24, and 48 h, and the surviving populations of E. sakazakii at each sampling time were counted. The treatments containing monocaprylin significantly reduced the population of E. sakazakii (P < 0.05) compared with the controls. Monocaprylin (50 mM) reduced the pathogen by >5 log CFU/ml by 1 h of incubation at 37 or 23° C and by 24 h of incubation at 8 or 4°C. Results indicate that monocaprylin could potentially be used to inactivate E. sakazakii in reconstituted infant formula; however, sensory studies are warranted before its use can be recommended.

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: Department of Animal Science, Unit-4040, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut 06269, USA

Publication date: December 1, 2004

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