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Biofouling. 2003 Jun;19(3):159-68.

"Escherichia coli-milk" biofilm removal from stainless steel surfaces: synergism between ultrasonic waves and enzymes.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Recherche en Génie Industriel Alimentaire, Université Lyon 1-IUT A Génie Biologique, Raliment, Rhone Alpes Food Research Center, Bourg en Bresse, rue Henri de Boissieu, F-01060 Bourg en Bresse, France. lagsir@iutbourg.univ-lyon1.fr

Abstract

Three different methods to standardize biofilm removal for in situ sanitary control of closed surfaces in the food industry have been developed and compared, i.e. sonication, enzymatic treatment and a combined treatment which involved the application of ultrasound to enzyme preparations. The biofilm studied was an Escherichia coli model biofilm, made with milk on stainless steel sheets. Plate counting and epifluorescence microscopy were used to assess the efficiency of each treatment. The results are expressed in percentages, 100% denoting total removal, obtained with a flat ultrasonic transducer (T1) developed and presented in a previous study. The application of ultrasound by a patented curved transducer, T2 (10 s, 40 kHz), specifically devised for closed surfaces, was not sufficient to completely remove the biofilm (30 +/- 7%). This biofilm was dislodged by two proteolytic enzyme preparations tested by immersion, viz. a 15-min application of protease (84 +/- 1%) and a 30-min trypsin application (95 +/- 8%). Using a combined treatment, the results showed a synergism between ultrasonic waves and proteolytic or glycolytic enzyme preparations, with removal of a significant amount of biofilm, i.e. 61-96% depending on the conditions tested, i.e. two to three times greater compared to sonication alone (30%). This application was in agreement with an industrial control, i.e. a good reproducible recovery of the biofilm in 10 s compared with 30 or 15 min with the enzyme alone.

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