Detergent and sanitizer stresses decrease the thermal resistance of Enterobacter sakazakii in infant milk formula

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Osaili, TM ; Shaker, RR ; Olaimat, AN ; Al-Nabulsi, AA ; Al-Holy, MA ; Forsythe, SJ (2008)

Infant milk formula has been identified as a potential source of Enterobacter sakazakii. This bacterium can cause a severe form of neonatal meningitis and necrotizing entercolitis. This study determined the effect of acid, alkaline, chlorine and ethanol stresses on the thermal inactivation of E. sakazakii in infant milk formula. Stressed cells were mixed with reconstituted powdered infant milk formula (PIMF) at temperatures between 52 and 58°C for various time periods or mixed with PFMF prior to reconstitution with water at temperatures between 50 and 100°C. The D- and z-values of the cells were determined using linear regression analysis. Detergent and sanitizer stresses decreased the thermal resistance of E. sakazakii in powdered and reconstituted infant milk formula. The values for Z)- acid, alkaline, chlorine and ethanol stressed E. sakazakii at 52-58°C were 14.57-0.54, 12.07-0.37, 10.08-0.40 and 11.61-0.50 min, respectively. The values of alkaline, chlorine and ethanol stressed cells were significantly lower than those of unstressed cells. Only the z-value (4.4°C) of ethanol stressed E. sakazakii was significantly different than that of unstressed cells (4.12°C). Reconstitution at 60°C did not significantly reduce the number of pre-stressed E. sakazakii cells compared with unstressed control cells, whereas significant decreases were obtained at 70°C. Using water at 70°C during the preparation of reconstituted PIMF before feeding infants, may be a suitable and applicable means of reducing the risk of E. sakazakii in the formula. The results of this study may be of use to regulatory agencies, infant milk producers and infant caregivers to design heating processes to eliminate E. sakazakii that may be present in infant milk formula.
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