Characterisation of spoilage microflora in extended shelf life (ESL) milks and pasteurised creams found in Finland

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Title: Characterisation of spoilage microflora in extended shelf life (ESL) milks and pasteurised creams found in Finland
Author: Tasiyana, Diana Tendai
Other contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, Maatalous-metsätieteellinen tiedekunta, Elintarvike- ja ympäristötieteiden laitos
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Department of Food and Environmental Sciences
Helsingfors universitet, Agrikultur- och forstvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för livsmedels- och miljövetenskaper
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2015
Language: eng
Thesis level: Master's thesis
Discipline: Livsmedelsteknologi
Food Technology
Abstract: The shelf life of ESL milks and pasteurized creams is limited by bacterial spoilage. The current state of knowledge with respect to the diversity and activities of the spoilage microflora in these products is still limited. To date, studies on this subject are yet to be carried out in Finland. The aim of this study was to characterize the spoilage microorganisms found in ESL milks and pasteurised creams mainly produced in Finland. 10 ESL milks and 8 pasteurised cream packages were obtained from the Finnish retail market and were stored at 8?C, 15?C, room temperature and 30?C, respectively, until expiration. Total bacterial counts were evaluated and 31 bacterial isolates were selected. An attempt was made to characterize the bacterial isolates using rpoB and 16S rRNA partial gene sequence analyses. Psychrotrophic, spore-forming and spoilage features were also determined. Strain diversity was determined by rep-PCR profiling. Five selected isolates were subjected to metabolic profiling using the API50 CHB test. When growth was detected, total bacterial counts ranged from 2.67 to 3.74 and 2.54 to 8.98 log units in cream and ESL milk samples, respectively. Both ESL milks and cream samples were dominated by heat-resistant, spore-forming species of the Bacillus genera: the isolates were related to B. licheniformis. B. weihenstephanensis, B. safensis, B. kochii, B. pumilus, B. subtilis and B. anthracis. Intraspecies and intrasample strain diversity was very high. Isolates mainly displayed proteolytic and lipolytic activity. Psychrotrophic activity was high in the cream samples while most ESL milk isolates were mostly mesophilic. Tested isolates were non-lactose fermenters and had varying metabolic profiles. The study revealed that Finnish ESL milks and pasteurized creams are prone to spoilage by species of the Bacillus genera that have potential for lipolytic and proteolytic spoilage and some of which are considered toxigenic. There is wide intraspecies strain diversity responsible for the wide variability in metabolic, psychrotrophic and spoilage features. Phenotypic tests based on API50 CHB cannot be relied upon to make conclusions on taxonomy. Combining various methods is important for the comprehensive characterization of the bacterial isolates. Strategies to eliminate bacterial species of the Bacillus genera are important to prolong shelf life. However, intervention should be strain-specific to be effective. Large scale studies are required to confirm findings from this study.
Subject: ESL milk
pasteurized creams
16S rRNA

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