Research – Impact of gas ultrafine bubbles on the potency of chlorine solutions against Listeria monocytogenes biofilms

Ultrafine bubble technology is a novel concept in food safety that can improve the potency of antimicrobials against biofilms. This study was conducted to evaluate the impact of gas (air, CO2, or N2) ultrafine bubbles incorporation in 100 and 200 ppm chlorine (Cl2) solutions to inactivate fresh Listeria monocytogenes biofilms on stainless steel. Listeria monocytogenes biofilms were grown on stainless steel coupons through static incubation at 37°C for 72 hr by immersing in L. monocytogenes inoculated brain heart infusion (BHI) broth. The coupons were treated by dipping in water or Cl2 solutions with or without ultrafine bubbles for 1 min. Random pre-determined areas on coupons were swabbed into Dey–Engley neutralizing broth before and after treatments and enumerated using BHI agar. Air and CO2 nanobubbles in 100 ppm Cl2 resulted in greater log reductions (5.0 and 4.9 log CFU/cm2, respectively) in L. monocytogenes biofilms compared with 100 ppm Cl2 without gas ultrafine bubbles (3.7 log CFU/cm2). Incorporation of air, CO2, and N2 ultrafine bubbles in water and 200 ppm Cl2 did not have any impact on the efficacy of biofilm inactivation.

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