Research – Effect of hydrophobic/hydrophilic characteristics of B. cereus spores on their resistance to detergents

Journal of Food Protection

Bacillus cereus spores have the ability to adhere to solid surfaces, including stainless steel, a material widely used in food industries. Adhesion of spores allows for recontamination during food processing, and the cleaning and disinfection are largely used by industries to control them. Hence, this study aims to assess the detachment capacity (or removing activity) of sodium hydroxide, nitric acid, phosphoric acid-based detergent, chlorine-based detergent; against two adhered Bacillus cereus spores (hydrophobic strain and hydrophilic strain) to stainless steel surfaces. Microorganism adhesion on the surfaces reached 5.5 log CFU/cm² the two strain studied. Two protocols composed of combinations of chemical compounds concentration, temperature, and contact time were tested. The inactivation kinetics shapes were convex and were modelled by the Weibull model. The effect of temperature and biocide concentration were quantified using a Bigelow like model. The temperature applied during of treatment of the cleaning in place is an important factor acting on the speed of inactivation or detachment of Bacillus cereus spores. However, this efficiency depends on the hydrophobic characteristics of Bacillus cereus spores. The concentration of detergent and acid also affects the inactivation rate. The inactivation rate, whereas the character of hydrophobic does not intervene for the chlorine alkaline treatments.

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