Desiccation strategies of Cronobacter sakazakii to survive in low moisture foods and environment

Emilie Lang, Min Suk Rhee, Maria Paula M.B.B. Gonçalves, Anderson S. Sant'Ana

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Cronobacter sakazakii is one of the pathogens of significant concern in powdered infant formula (PIF), with a death rate of up to 80% infection. However, PIF is characterized by its low water content, which makes it a harmful environment for vegetative bacteria. C. sakazakii can survive in this environment, which complicates the challenge of food safety. Scope and approach: This review discusses the complexity of the desiccation as an environmental perturbation, which can engender different armful change in the environment and the cell. This conduct exposes different mechanisms that permit C. sakazakii to survive this drastic stress, by counterbalancing the effect of desiccation, but also by repairing the eventual damages. The link between desiccation and other environmental stresses commonly food in PIF industries were presented. Key findings and conclusions: The various strategies of C. sakazakii to survive desiccation have a key role in persistence, and among them, common pathways with other Enterobacteriaceae, like the accumulation of osmoprotectant or the production of chaperone proteins that prevent oxidative damages. Nevertheless, other resistance mechanisms seem specific to C. sakazakii as its specific membrane management and still must be better described. Understanding C. sakazakii unique response to desiccation can lead to new opportunities to ensure powdered infants' food safety and properly control this microorganism in the processing environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104241
JournalTrends in Food Science and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Jan

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd


  • Adaptation
  • Control
  • Cronobacter sakazakii
  • Dried foods
  • Drying
  • Food safety
  • Water activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science


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