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The antimicrobial effect of metal substrates on food pathogens.

Akhidime, Iduma Devine and Saubade, Fabien and Benson, Paul and Butler, Jonathan and Olivier, Sebastien and Kelly, Peter and Verran, Joanna and Vagg-Whitehead, KA (2018) The antimicrobial effect of metal substrates on food pathogens. Food and Bioproducts Processing, 113. pp. 68-76. ISSN 0960-3085

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Abstract

The development of surfaces as antimicrobial materials is important to the food industry. This study investigated the antimicrobial potential of a range of metal coated surfaces including silver, titanium, copper, iron, molybdenum, zinc and silicon (control) against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Listeria monocytogenes. The leaching potential of the metals were measured by inductively coupled plasma-atomic adsorption spectroscopy and were compared to the antibacterial activity of the metals using a nitroblue tetrazolium assay and an adapted BS ISO 22196:2011 standard. Leaching into solution from the coatings alone was not related to the antimicrobial activity of the coatings. Copper and zinc showed the greatest propensity to leach from the coatings; silver, titanium, iron and molybdenum leached at lower rates and silicon showed no leaching. Copper demonstrated the greatest antimicrobial potential followed by silver and zinc. Titanium displayed the least antimicrobial potential, however using the standard method in humid conditions resulted in increased growth of Listeria. This study provides evidence of the efficacy of copper and silver as effective antimicrobial metal surface coatings, however use of titanium under humid conditions suggest that surfaces for use in the food industry needs to be given careful consideration before application.

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