Research – Effect of Gaseous Ozone on Listeria monocytogenes Planktonic Cells and Biofilm: An In Vitro Study


Among food-borne pathogens, Listeria monocytogenes continues to pose concerns to food business operators due to its capacity to form biofilm in processing environments. Ozone may be an eco-friendly technology to control microbial contaminations, but data concerning its effect on Listeria monocytogenes biofilm are still limited. In this study, the effect of gaseous ozone at 50 ppm on planktonic cells and biofilm of reference and food-related Listeria monocytogenes strains was evaluated. Ozone caused a reduction in microbial loads of 3.7 ± 0.4 and 3.9 ± 0.4 Log10 CFU/mL after 10 and 30 min, respectively. A complete inactivation of planktonic cells after 6 h of treatment was observed. Biofilm inhibition and eradication treatments (50 ppm, 6 h) resulted in a significant decrease of the biofilm biomass for 59% of the strains tested, whilst a slight dampening of live cell loads in the biofilm state was observed. In conclusion, gaseous ozone is not sufficient to completely counteract Listeria monocytogenes biofilm, but it may be useful as an additional tool to contrast Listeria monocytogenes free-living cells and to improve the existing sanitization procedures in food processing environments. View Full-Text

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