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Efficacy of Organic Acids, Bacteriocins, and the Lactoperoxidase System in Inhibiting the Growth of Cronobacter spp. in Rehydrated Infant Formula

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Thirty-three antimicrobial agents, including antimicrobial peptides (nisin, lacticin 3147, isracidin), organic acids, emulsifiers (organic acid esters), glycine, lysozyme, tocopherol, EDTA, milk fat globule membrane, and the lactoperoxidase system (LPOS) were screened for anti–Cronobacter sakazakii activity. The compounds were initially screened individually in parallel in synthetic media. Those showing antimicrobial activity were then tested in reconstituted whole milk and finally in reconstituted powdered infant formula (PIF), using mild temperatures of reconstitution and prolonged storage at room temperature. Propionic acid and monocaprylin (as POEM M-100) in combination showed inhibitory activity at sufficiently low concentrations (0.1 to 0.2%) in milk to be considered as potential antimicrobial additives for the inhibition of C. sakazakii in reconstituted PIF. More interestingly, LPOS, when combined with the broad-spectrum bacteriocins nisin or lacticin 3147, inhibited outgrowth of C. sakazakii at 37°C for 8 h. The combined effects of POEM M-100 and either acetate or propionate and LPOS with lacticin 3147 or nisin were evaluated under the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations–World Health Organization high-risk scenario for PIF, i.e., low temperature of reconstitution and long storage or feeding times at ambient temperature. In the presence of LPOS and lacticin 3147, growth of Cronobacter spp. was inhibited for up to 12 h when the PIF was rehydrated at 40 or 50°C. These results highlight the potential of combinatory approaches to improving the safety of infant milk formula.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Food Technology Research Institute, Division of Research and Development, Meiji Co., Ltd., 540 Naruda, Odawara, Kanagawa, 250-0862 Japan 2: Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, County Cork, Ireland; Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland 3: Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, County Cork, Ireland 4: Department of Microbiology, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland 5: Dairygold Cooperative, Mitchelstown, County Cork, Ireland 6: Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, County Cork, Ireland; Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. 7: Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland; Department of Microbiology, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland

Publication date: October 1, 2012

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