Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 10, 2006
Publication Date: July 31, 2006
Citation: Tomasula, P.M., Datta, N., Luchansky, J.B. 2006. Validation of pilot-plant scale microfiltration to remove spores of bacillus anthracis sterne from fluid milk. Society for Industrial Microbiology Meeting (SIM). p.5. Technical Abstract: A threat agent deliberately released into a milk storage tank has the potential to reach consumers if it is not eliminated by pasteurization or other processing steps. Additional measures may have to be taken to support the milk processing line to defend against acts of agroterrorism. In this study, cross-flow microfiltration was examined as a step prior to pasteurization to remove Bacillus anthracis (BA) spores that may have been intentionally added to raw milk. In laboratory-scale experiments reported previously, skim milk was inoculated with an average of 6.0 log10 spores/mL of the attenuated Sterne strain of BA. The milk was microfiltered at 50deg C using a 0.8-um ceramic membrane; approximately 6.0 log10 spores of BA/mL milk were removed. In this study, microfiltration was conducted in a pilot-scale unit having a 30-gallon capacity to confirm laboratory studies and establish that microfiltration of milk prior to pasteurization removes greater than 99.9999% of BA spores while maintaining the quality of milk. The addition of a microfiltration step, in conjunction with an ultrapasteurization step for the retentate, will lessen the likelihood that pathogenic bacteria and/or their spores that are greater than 0.8 um in size will contaminate the milk supply.