Inactivation of Bacillus spores inoculated in milk by Ultra High Pressure Homogenization

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Ultra High-Pressure Homogenization treatments at 300MPa with inlet temperatures (Ti) of 55, 65, 75 and 85°C were applied to commercial Ultra High Temperature treated whole milk inoculated with Bacillus cereus, Bacillus licheniformis, Bacillus sporothermodurans, Bacillus coagulans, Geobacillus stearothermophilus and Bacillus subtilis spores in order to evaluate the inactivation level achieved. Ultra High-Pressure Homogenization conditions at 300MPa with Ti=75 and 85°C were capable of a spore inactivation of ~5logCFU/mL. Furthermore, under these processing conditions, commercial sterility (evaluated as the complete inactivation of the inoculated spores) was obtained in milk, with the exception of G.stearothermophilus and B.subtilis treated at 300MPa with Ti=75°C. The results showed that G.stearothermophilus and B.subtilis have higher resistance to the Ultra High-Pressure Homogenization treatments applied than the other microorganisms inoculated and that a treatment performed at 300MPa with Ti=85°C was necessary to completely inactivate these microorganisms at the spore level inoculated (~1×106CFU/mL). Besides, a change in the resistance of B.licheniformis, B.sporothermodurans, G.stearothermophilus and B.subtilis spores was observed as the inactivation obtained increased remarkably in treatments performed with Ti between 65 and 75°C. This study provides important evidence of the suitability of UHPH technology for the inactivation of spores in high numbers, leading to the possibility of obtaining commercially sterile milk. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-210
JournalFood Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Bacillus spore inactivation
  • Non-thermal technologies
  • Ultra high-pressure homogenization (UHPH)
  • Whole milk


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