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J Dairy Sci. 2013 Jun;96(6):3543-6. doi: 10.3168/jds.2012-6174. Epub 2013 Mar 30.

Short communication: heat resistance of Escherichia coli strains in raw milk at different subpasteurization conditions.

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Institute for Food Safety and Hygiene, University of Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland.

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  • J Dairy Sci. 2014 Oct;97(10):6623.


A commonly applied treatment of raw milk to reduce bacterial loads is the short-time application of heat at subpasteurization levels under continuous flow, generally referred to as thermization, because this method retains some of the beneficial properties of raw milk. In a previous study, Escherichia coli strains exhibiting increased thermotolerance were found, demanding investigations into their ability to survive thermization. Nine E. coli strains, including 4 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) strains, were investigated for their reduction during a thermization treatment in raw milk using a pilot-plant pasteurizer to reflect typically applied commercial conditions. Six of the 9 E. coli strains, including the 4 STEC strains, were similarly inactivated at 60, 62.5, and 65°C, whereas increased thermotolerance was observed for 3 E. coli strains. All strains were reduced to <2 log10 at 60 and 62.5°C within 25s. At 65°C, 6 of 9 E. coli strains were reduced by at least 5 log10 after 25s, whereas at 67.5°C, such a reduction was observed for 8 strains. A much higher thermotolerance was found for E. coli strain FAM21805. For some E. coli strains, time-temperature combinations above 65°C were required to obtain a substantial reduction during a thermization treatment.

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