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Comparison of adhesion characteristics of common dairy sporeformers and their spores on unmodified and modified stainless steel contact surfaces

Jindal, Shivali, Anand, Sanjeev
Journal of dairy science 2018 v.101 no.7 pp. 5799-5808
Bacillus licheniformis, Bacillus sporothermodurans, Geobacillus stearothermophilus, adhesion, ambient temperature, biofilm, energy, heat tolerance, hexadecane, hydrophobicity, processing equipment, spore-forming bacteria, spores, stainless steel, vegetative cells, zeta potential, United Kingdom
The attachment of aerobic spore-forming bacteria and their spores to the surfaces of dairy processing equipment leads to biofilm formation. Although sporeformers may differ in the degree of attachment, various surface modifications are being studied in order to develop a surface that is least vulnerable to attachment. This study was conducted to compare the extent of adhesion of spores and vegetative cells of the thermotolerant sporeformer Bacillus licheniformis and the high-heat-resistant sporeformers Geobacillus stearothermophilus and Bacillus sporothermodurans on both native and modified stainless steel surfaces. We studied the effect of contact surface and cell surface properties (including surface energy, surface hydrophobicity, cell surface hydrophobicity, and zeta potential) on the adhesion tendency of both types of sporeformers and their spores. Attachment to native and modified (Ni-P-polytetrafluoroethylene, Ni-P-PTFE) stainless steel surfaces was determined by allowing interaction between the respective contact surface and vegetative cells or spores for 1 h at ambient temperature. The hydrophobicity of vegetative cells and spores of aerobic spore-forming bacteria was determined using the hexadecane assay, and zeta potential was determined using the Zeta sizer Nano series instrument (Malvern Panalytical, Malvern, UK). The results indicated a higher adhesion tendency of spores over vegetative cells for both thermotolerant and high-heat-resistant sporeformers. On comparing the sporeformers, B. sporothermodurans demonstrated the highest adhesion tendency followed by G. stearothermophilus; B. licheniformis exhibited minimal attachment on both surfaces. The tendency to adhere varied with cell surface properties, decreasing with lower cell surface hydrophobicity and higher cell surface charge. On the other hand, modifying contact surface properties for higher surface hydrophobicity and lower surface energy decreased attachment.