Cronobacter sakazakii can cause life-threatening infections in neonates. Exposure to contaminated powdered food, especially milk powder, is a major route for C. sakazakii infection. Cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) is well known as a non-thermal method for inactivating microbial pathogens. This study evaluates the effectiveness of CAP on C. sakazakii in non-fat dry milk (NFDM) powder using a fluidized reaction system. The CAP treatments for 20–120 s led to 1.17–3.27 log 10 reductions of C. sakazakii. C. sakazakii inactivation increased with increasing flow rate from 8 to 20 L/min. In terms of quality attributes of NFDM after the CAP treatments, no noticeable color changes (ΔE < 1.5) were observed. Moreover, no significant changes in crystallinity, amino acid composition, or phenolic content occurred following a 120s-CAP treatment. These results indicate that this fluidized reaction system combined with CAP can provide an effective antimicrobial activity with minimal effects on some physicochemical properties of NFDM powder.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture , CAP Project No.: 1006847. Thanks to Justin Wiertzema for assistance with Cronobacter sakazakii analysis and others.
- Cold atmospheric plasma
- Cronobacter sakazakii
- Milk powder
- Non-thermal process
- Physicochemical properties analysis