Evaluation of the transfer of <i>Listeria monocytogenes</i>: A study at the macroscopic and cellular level

2007 2007

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

The objective of this work was to study parameters involved in the transfer of Listeria monocytogenes from surfaces to foods and vice versa. We evaluated the influence of surfaces (stainless steel and high density polyethylene, HDPE), inoculation method (biofilm growth and attached cells), hydration levels (dry and wet), and foods on listerial transfer. A four L. monocytogenes strain cocktail was used to inoculate either processing surfaces or foods as growing biofilms or attached cells. Transfer experiments were performed at a constant contact time (30 s) and pressure (45 kPa). After transfer, cells transferred to surfaces or foods were counted, and the efficiency of transfer (EOT) calculated.

Our results showed that when calculating EOTs, data were normalized and the initial inoculation level had no effect on the proportion transferred (P>0.05). Material type showed to be a significant factor, with greater numbers of Listeria transferring from bologna to stainless steel (EOT=0.49) when compared to polyethylene (EOT=0.28, P<0.01). When transfer was conducted from inoculated surfaces to uninoculated food, our results strongly suggested that stainless steel surfaces (EOT=0.52) transferred more L. monocytogenes to foods than HDPE (EOT=0.21, P=0.05). Regarding the inoculation method, biofilms tended to transfer more Listeria to foods (EOT=0.57) than attached cells (EOT=0.16). Transfer from inoculated surfaces to foods was significantly higher for dried biofilms growing on stainless steel (EOT=1.5, P<0.05). The effect of hydration level was further evaluated by equilibrating biofilms over saturated salt solutions at 20°C for 24 h (94%, 75%, 58% and 33% relative humidity) prior to transferring. Our work showed that as biofilms become drier, the listerial transfer increased significantly (P<0.05). We hypothesize that weakened cell-to-cell and cell-to-surface interactions of biofilms upon drying increases transfer to food products.

With the use of AFM we determined that the adhesion forces between colloidal (glass and polyethylene) probes and listerial biofilms. The results showed that the maximum adhesive force to polyethylene (-113.38 nN) was significantly higher than that of glass (-85.42 nN, P<0.001). Sanitation practices in food industry must be addressed to avoid biofilm formation. Once biofilms are formed, they are harder to remove and listerial transfer and potential cross-contamination increases.

Indexing (details)

Food science
0359: Food science
Identifier / keyword
Biological sciences; Biofilms; Efficiency of transfer; Listeria monocytogenes
Evaluation of the transfer of <i>Listeria monocytogenes</i>: A study at the macroscopic and cellular level
Rodriguez Lozano, Andres
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-B 68/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
McLandsboeough, Lynne A.
Committee member
Autio, Wesley R.; Labbe, Ronald; Weiss, Jochen
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Food Science
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.