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J Dairy Sci. 2009 Oct;92(10):4833-40. doi: 10.3168/jds.2009-2181.

Short communication: bacterial ecology of high-temperature, short-time pasteurized milk processed in the United States.

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Department of Food Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


To determine the microbial ecology of pasteurized milk within the United States, 2% fat pasteurized fluid milk samples were obtained from 18 dairy plants from 5 geographical areas representing the Northeast, Southeast, South, Midwest, and West. Of the 589 bacterial isolates identified using DNA sequence-based subtyping methods, 346 belonged to genera characterized as gram-positive endospore-forming bacteria (i.e., Bacillus and Paenibacillus). Of the 346 gram-positive endospore-forming bacteria isolated in the present study, 240 were classified into 45 allelic types identical to those previously identified from samples obtained in New York State, indicating the widespread presence of these microbes in fluid milk production and processing systems in the United States. More than 84% of the gram-positive spore-forming isolates characterized at d 1, 7, and 10 were of the genus Bacillus, whereas more than 92% of isolates characterized at d 17 of shelf life were of the genus Paenibacillus, indicating that the predominant gram-positive spoilage genera shifts from Bacillus spp. to Paenibacillus spp. during refrigerated storage.

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