Food Science and Technology Department


Department of Food Science and Technology: Faculty Publications

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Deliephan, A.; Dhakal, J.; Subramanyam, B.; Aldrich, C.G. Mitigation of Salmonella on Food Contact Surfaces by Using Organic Acid Mixtures Containing 2-Hydroxy-4-(methylthio) Butanoic Acid (HMTBa). Foods 2023, 12, 874. foods12040874


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Contaminated surfaces can transmit pathogens to food in industrial and domestic food-handling environments. Exposure to pathogens on food contact surfaces may take place via the cross-contamination of pathogens during postprocessing activities. Formaldehyde-based commercial sanitizers in recent years are less commonly being used within food manufacturing facilities due to consumer perception and labeling concerns. There is interest in investigating clean-label, food-safe components for use on food contact surfaces to mitigate contamination from pathogenic bacteria, including Salmonella. In this study, the antimicrobial effects of two types of organic acid mixtures containing 2-hydroxy-4-(methylthio) butanoic acid (HMTBa), Activate DA™ and Activate US WDMAX ™, against Salmonella when applied onto various food contact surfaces were evaluated. The efficacy of Activate DA (HMTBa + fumaric acid + benzoic acid) at 1% and 2% and Activate US WDMAX (HMTBa + lactic acid + phosphoric acid) at 0.5% and 1% against Salmonella enterica (serovars Enteritidis, Heidelberg, and Typhimurium) were evaluated on six different material surfaces: plastic (bucket elevator and tote bag), rubber (bucket elevator belt and automobile tire), stainless steel, and concrete. There was a significant difference in the Salmonella log reduction on the material surfaces due to the organic acid treatments when compared to the untreated surfaces. The type of material surface also had an effect on the log reductions obtained. Stainless steel and plastic (tote) had the highest Salmonella log reductions (3–3.5 logs), while plastic (bucket elevator) and rubber (tire) had the lowest log reductions (1–1.7 logs) after treatment with Activate US WD-MAX. For Activate DA, the lowest log reductions (~1.6 logs) were observed for plastic (bucket elevator) and rubber (tire), and the highest reductions were observed for plastic (tote), stainless steel, and concrete (2.8–3.2 logs). Overall, the results suggested that Activate DA at 2% and Activate US WD-MAX at 1% are potentially effective at reducing Salmonella counts on food contact surfaces by 1.6–3.5 logs.

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