(255a) Functionalized Mesh Materials for Listeria Control in Dairy Applications | AIChE

(255a) Functionalized Mesh Materials for Listeria Control in Dairy Applications


Ritchie, S. - Presenter, University of Alabama
Pathogenic bacteria are ubiquitous in dairy systems. They are mostly eliminated by pasteurization, though improper treatment and recontamination can occur during downstream processing. Spiral elements are used widely in downstream processing of milk, and offer an excellent opportunity for mitigation of pathogens. Specifically, the feed spacer in spiral elements has been functionalized to provide anti-microbial activity. The surface may be further modified to target specific pathogenic bacteria. The purpose of this paper is to discuss development of these materials targeted for control of Listeria Monocytogenes (LM) with applications in dairy processing, including milk and brine systems.

The feed spacer mesh has been modified to include anti-microbial groups. Polypropylene (PP) feed spacer has been modified in several steps to obtain several types of quaternary amine (QA) groups. The QA groups are on polymer grafts attached to the PP spacer. Polymerization of the base polymer was achieved by photo-polymerization, and functional groups were added post-polymerization. We have characterized the polymerization kinetics as a function of time, monomer concentration, and initiator concentration. We have also demonstrated anti-microbial activity against Gram-positive bacteria. We will discuss our results so far, as well as methods to incorporate pathogen-selectivity.