1. Evaluate enzymes and enzyme-surfactant combinations for better cleaning of membrane biofilms as compared to the existing clean-in-place (CIP) protocol
Previous studies done by this researcher showed that current CIP practices used by the dairy industry do not sufficiently clean membranes. This is a concern for the dairy industry because these biofilms can harbor both spoilage microorganism and pathogens. The enzyme step in the current CIP protocol is very important because it helps break down the biofilm matrices for better cleaning. Certain enzymes such as protease, galactosidase, DNase and lipase can be used as an additional step to modify the existing CIP protocol to increase the effectiveness against resistant biofilms. </P>Researchers will study several commercially available enzymes (protease, galactosidase, DNase and lipase) for their ability to break through resistant biofilms formed by thermoduric and thermophilic bacteria during the dairy operations. Researchers will isolate microorganisms from biofilms on commercial membranes and use them to grow new biofilms in a lab setting. Lab grown biofilms will be tested against current CIP chemicals and modified enzyme steps.