Bacteria - Articles and news items
Industry news • 15 June 2016 • Victoria White, Digital Content Producer
Scientists have identified a heat-loving bacterium, called Thermus as the cause of pink discolouration defects in cheese…
Industry news • 9 July 2015 • Victoria White
Researchers have successfully created a rice plant probiotic made from endophytes that results in larger plants with less need for fertiliser…
Industry news • 8 June 2015 • Victoria White
A new way of rapidly identifying bacteria, which requires a slight modification to a microscope, may help the food industry screen against contamination…
Industry news • 13 May 2015 • Victoria White
Researchers at the Institute of Food Research (IFR) have established how clostridia bacteria emerge from clostridium spores…
Issue 3 2012 • 3 July 2012 • François Bourdichon and Katia Rouzeau, Food Safety Microbiology, Quality and Safety Department, Nestlé Research Centre
‘Something is fishy’ is a widely used expression over a doubtful, suspicious situation, a good example of how mankind has taken advantage of microbial spoilage to assess the wholesomeness of a food product. The reduction of trimethylamine oxide to trimethylamine by bacteria associated primarily with the marine environment (e.g. Alteromonas and Vibrio) and animal intestines (Enterobacteriaceae) constitutes this major spoilage reaction during the storage of marine fish and typically identified ‘fishy’ as off note. The microbial alteration of fish can be therefore organoleptically identified by consumers, considering the food as suspicious for consumption1.
Spoilage of food involves any change which renders food unacceptable for human consumption and may result from a variety of causes, which include: Insect damage; Physical injury due to freezing, drying, burning, pressure, radiation; Activity of indigenous enzymes in plant and animal tissues; Chemical changes not induced by microbial or naturally occurring enzymes (These changes usually involve O2 and light and other than microbial spoilage are the most common cause of spoilage e.g. oxidative rancidity of fats and oils and the discolouration of cured meats); and growth and activity of microorganisms: bacteria, yeasts and moulds.
Issue 3 2012 • 3 July 2012 • Dr Evangelia Komitopoulou, Head of Food Safety, Leatherhead Food Research
Many bacteria are able to attach to and colonise environmental surfaces by producing a biofilm, which allows the organisms to persist in the environment and resist desiccation, UV light and treatment with antimicrobials and sanitising agents. Biofilms are formed when microbes attach to a solid support and to each other by extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), and on a wide variety of surfaces, including metal, plastic, rock and living or dead tissue. Once in a biofilm, bacteria can be several orders of magnitude more resistant to antimicrobials than their planktonic counterparts1.
Biofilms are of particular concern in the process and food industries as well as in potable and wastewater distribution systems. Biofilms formed on the inside of pipes can reduce flow rates while increased fouling can lead to decreases in heat transmission and thus ineffective processing, product contamination and pipe corrosion due to acid production in the biofilm. Biofilm formation in drinking water distribution systems can lead to a decrease in water velocity and carrying capacity, clogging and pipe corrosion, increase in energy utilisation and decreased operational efficiency. In marine and other aquatic environments, submerged surfaces attract organisms such as algae, diatoms and bacteria that are able to attach and form biofilms on ships’ hulls and become resistant to the different antifouling paints that have been developed to prevent the initial colonisation.
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