(178d) Antimicrobial Mesh Materials Applied to Milk and Brine

Authors: 
Costa-Teixeira, M., The University of Alabama
Brooks, S., The University of Alabama
Summers, R. M., The University of Alabama
Richier, M. P., The University of Alabama
Ritchie, S. M., University of Alabama
Pathogenic bacteria are ubiquitous in dairy systems. They are mostly eliminated by pasteurization, though recontamination can occur during downstream processing. Spiral wound membranes are widely used during milk production, and offer an excellent opportunity for mitigation of pathogens. Specifically, the feed spacer in spiral elements has been functionalized to provide antimicrobial activity by adsorbing or contact killing bacteria. The purpose of this research is to develop these materials with applications in milk and brine systems.

A modified polypropylene (PP) feed spacer was produced to control bacterial growth. Vinylbenzyl chloride was reacted with dimethylhexadecylamine to produce an aminated monomer. The resultant product was polymerized by UV polymerization and grafted to the surface of PP. The modified mesh was characterized by mass change and dye testing, followed by Raman and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopies. We have demonstrated antibacterial effectiveness of the polymer against Gram-positive bacteria. Also, scanning electron microscope images before and after the biotest showed a high adsorption of bacteria to the surface. We will discuss our results so far, as well antimicrobial activity of feed spacer in dairy environments.