This research project aims to assess the survival of potentially harmful bacteria which may be found in powdered infant formulae using various preparation methods.
Background:<BR> Powdered infant and follow-on formulas are not sterile, which means they can contain bacteria such as Enterobacter sakazakii which may be harmful to some infants. It is important to take care when preparing and storing formula to reduce the risk of babies becoming ill. The Agency’s current advice includes making up formula using water that is at least 70°C to destroy any bacteria that may be present.
To further inform the Agency’s advice on the safe preparation of powdered infant formula, this research project will assess the survival of potentially harmful bacteria using various preparation methods. The objective is to assess the effectiveness of rehydration temperature on killing potentially harmful bacteria.
Research Approach:<BR>A representative range of bacteria associated with neonatal infections and powdered infant formula will be selected. Common reconstitution practices used to prepare powdered infant formula (including rehydration, cooling, storage and reheating) will be identified. The lag time, growth rate and thermal death rates of E. sakazakii and other bacteria will be assessed. The possible effects of biofilm formation (which may result in the clumping of cells), previous heat stress and spray drying on thermal tolerance will be assessed. The results will be compared with existing risk assessment models.
<p>Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the <a href="http://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/" target="_blank">Food Standards Agency Research webpage</a>.