Antibacterial Performance of Cu-Bearing Stainless Steel against Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa in Whole Milk
Pathogen microorganisms exist in various environments such as dairy processing facilities. They are not easily eliminated, and significantly raise the risk of bacterial contamination. The inhibition ability of a novel type 304 Cu-bearing stainless steel (304CuSS) with nano-sized Cu-rich precipitates against Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) added whole milk was investigated in this study. The results showed that after 24 h contact, the inhibition rates of the 304CuSS against S. aureus and P. aeruginosa added whole milk reached 99.2% ± 0.3% and 99.3% ± 0.2%, respectively, in contrast with the 304SS. In the plain whole milk, the inhibition rate of the 304CuSS also reached 66.9% ± 2.0% compared with the 304SS. The results demonstrated that the 304CuSS killed majority of the planktonic bacteria, and inhibited sessile bacteria adherence to the steel surface in the whole milk with and without bacteria addition, significantly reducing the bacterial growth rate. These research outcomes explicitly show an application potential of this novel antibacterial stainless steel in the dairy related food industry.