Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #383194

Research Project: Characterization and Mitigation of Bacterial Pathogens in the Fresh Produce Production and Processing Continuum

Location: Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory

Title: Listeria monocytogenes biofilm formation as affected by stainless steel surface topography and coating composition

item GU, TINGTING - University Of Massachusetts
item MEESRISOM, APISAK - University Of Massachusetts
item Luo, Yaguang - Sunny
item DINH, QUYNH - University Of Massachusetts
item LIN, SOPHIA - University Of Massachusetts
item YANG, MANYUN - University Of Massachusetts
item SHARMA, ARNAV - University Of Connecticut
item TANG, RUOGU - University Of Massachusetts
item ZHANG, JINDE - University Of Massachusetts
item JIA, ZHEN - University Of Massachusetts
item Millner, Patricia
item PEARLSTEIN, ARNE - University Of Illinois
item ZHANG, BOCE - University Of Massachusetts

Submitted to: Food Control
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/21/2021
Publication Date: 5/25/2021
Citation: Gu, T., Meesrisom, A., Luo, Y., Dinh, Q.N., Lin, S., Yang, M., Sharma, A., Tang, R., Zhang, J., Jia, Z., Millner, P.D., Pearlstein, A.J., Zhang, B. 2021. Listeria monocytogenes biofilm formation as affected by stainless steel surface topography and coating composition. Food Control. 130:108275.

Interpretive Summary: Sanitary design and sanitization of food processing equipment are critical steps to ensure food safety and prevent pathogen contamination mediated by food contact substances. In direct response to the request from the produce industry, scientists at USDA-ARS and the University of Massachusetts collaboratively investigated the effects of food contact surfaces, including topographical and chemical properties, in preventing adherence and biofilm formation of Listeria monocytogenes, a harmful bacterium that is responsible for numerous foodborne illness outbreaks. Results indicate that stainless steel surface topography plays significant role in biofilm formation. Food contact substances such as Dursan coating can be used to modify surface topography and chemistry to increase its resistance to biofilm formation. Findings can be used by the food industry and equipment manufacturers to guide their equipment design and disinfection.

Technical Abstract: Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) biofilm formation on food contact surfaces is a significant food safety concern. However, research studies on FCSs nonfouling properties against Lm biofilm are scarce. In this study, we investigated food contact surface topography, chemistry, and their combinations on Lm biofilm formation. Treatment conditions include stainless steel 304 with three surface topographies: native/bare finish, #4 commercial brushed finish, and native finish modified with micropillars with and without modification from five FDA-approved food surface contact substances: chromium nitride, titanium nitride, Dursan, Ni-P-polytetrafluoroethylene (NPP), and Lectrofluor 641 (LF). Results indicate that surface topography and chemistry significantly impacted nonfouling properties. Significant enhancement of resistance to Lm fouling was observed on native finish coated by NPP and Dursan, brush finish coated by NPP, LF, and Dursan, and the native finish modified with micropillars coated with Dursan. Among all treatment combinations, the strongest resistance to Lm biofilm formation was observed with Dursan coating on brush finish and micropillars finish. The combination of substrate topography modification and FCS coating provides a new approach to enhance the nonfouling properties of stainless steel against Lm biofilm for improved food processing equipment sanitary design and sanitation.