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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Food Science

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Antimicrobial optimization procedures use the most resistant bacterial culture that could be present in the food to determine the levels of treatment needed to ensure safety. These procedures usually only focus on one method of preparing these inoculums for testing despite prior research showing that the preparation of the culture can influence how the culture reacts to a treatment. In this work, planktonic cells grown in a liquid media and sessile cells grown on a similar solid media were subjected to identical emulsion based antimicrobial systems. The cultures were monitored over time and their numbers periodically enumerated. Weibullian destruction models were used to characterize bacterial death and the different inoculum preparations were separated using ANOVA statistical tests. Using these models highly significant differences between the different sessile and planktonic methods of growth were found. This difference was also found to not be related to the production of curli used in biofilm formation. These results suggest that the methods of inoculum preparation can be a significant factor in bacterial survival, a factor that should be included in food antimicrobial optimization procedures.


First Advisor

Lynne A. McLandsborough