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PLoS One. 2012;7(6):e40189. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0040189. Epub 2012 Jun 28.

Characterization of contaminants from a sanitized milk processing plant.

Author information

1
Institute for Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Centre of Biological Engineering, Universidade do Minho, Campus de Gualtar, Braga, Portugal. sara.cleto@deb.uminho.pt

Abstract

Milk processing lines offer a wide variety of microenvironments where a diversity of microorganisms can proliferate. We sampled crevices and junctions where, due to deficient reach by typical sanitizing procedures, bacteria can survive and establish biofilms. The sampling sites were the holding cell, cold storage tank, pasteurizer and storage tank--transfer pump junction. The culturable bacteria that were isolated after the sanitation procedure were predominantly Pseudomonas spp., Serratia spp, Staphylococcus sciuri and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. We assayed several phenotypic characteristics such as the ability to secrete enzymes and siderophores, as well as the capacity of the strains to form biofilms that might contribute to their survival in a mixed species environment. The Pseudomonas spp. isolates were found to either produce proteases or lecithinases at high levels. Interestingly, protease production showed an inverse correlation with siderophore production. Furthermore, all of the Serratia spp. isolates were strong biofilm formers and spoilage enzymes producers. The organisms identified were not mere contaminants, but also producers of proteins with the potential to lower the quality and shelf-life of milk. In addition, we found that a considerable number of the Serratia and Pseudomonas spp. isolated from the pasteurizer were capable of secreting compounds with antimicrobial properties.

PMID:
22761957
PMCID:
PMC3386184
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0040189
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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