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Meat (market fresh)

Fresh meats whether it is from food animals or birds contain a large group of potential spoilage bacteria of genera Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Moraxella, Shewanella, Alcaligenes, Aeromonas, Escherichia, Enterobacter, Serratia, Hafnia, Proteus, Brochothrix, Micrococcus, Enterococcus, Lactobacillus, Leuconostoc, Carnobacterium, and Clostridium, as well as yeasts and molds. The predominant spoilage flora in a meat is determined by nutrient availability, oxygen availability, storage temperature, storage time, and generation time of the microorganisms present in a given environment.

Breads

At normal conditions, the water activity of bread is low enough to prevent bacterial growth. However, some molds, especially Rhizopus stolonifer, commonly known as bread mold can grow if there is moisture released because of starch crystallization during storage. Molds are killed during baking; however, spores can get in from air and equipment used for baking. Some mucoid variants of Bac.subtilis also can grow on bread, causing soft, stringy, brown mass with fruity odor. The spores, coming from flour or equipment, survive baking and then germinate and grow inside within 1 to 2 days.. They also produce extracellular amylase and proteases and break down the bread structure.

Dairy products
Butter Butter contains 80% milk fat and can salted or unsalted. Growth of bacteria such as Pseudomonas spp., yeast such as Candida spp., and molds such as Geotrichum candidum on the surface causes flavor defects and surface discoloration. In unsalted butter, coliforms, Enterococcus, and Pseudomonas can grow favorably in the water phase and produce flavor defects. Sweetened condensed milk Sweetened condensed milk contains 8.5% fat, 28% total solids, and 42% sucrose. The whole milk is initially heated to high temperature and then condensed at 60C under vacuum and put into containers. Due to low water activity, it is susceptible to osmophilic yeasts such as Torula spp., causing gas formation. If the container contains enough headspace and oxygen, molds such as Penicillium and Aspergillus can grow on the surface. Raw milk Raw milk is pasteurized before it is sold for consumption as liquid milk. Thermoduric bacteria (Micrococcus, Enterococcus, some Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, Corynebacterium, and spore of Baacillus and Clostridium can survive the process. In addition, coliforms, Pseudomonas, Alcaligenes, Flavobacterium, and similar type can enter as postpasteurization contaminants.

Preserved and Canned Food


Preserved and canned foods are heat treated to kill microorganisms present, and the extend of heat treatment is predominantly dependent on the pH of a food. High pH foods with pH 4.6 and above are heated to destroy most heat-resistant spores of the pathogenic bacteria, particularly Clo.botulinum, to ensure that a product is free of any pathogen. However if the spore has a higher resistance to heat, it might survive. On the other hand, low pH foods with pH below 4.6, is heated treated to kill all vegetative cells and some spores. Microbial spoilage of preserved and canned food is due to 3 main reasons: (1) inadequate cooling after heating or high temperature storage, allowing the germination of thermophilic sporeformers; (2) insufficient heating, resulting in survival and growth of mesophilic microorganisms (vegetative cells and spore); (3) leakage in the cans, allowing microbial contamination from outside. Thermophilic sporeformers can cause three types of spoilage of high pH foods when the cans are stored at temperature 43C and above. Example of spoilages are flat sour spoilage, thermophilic anaerobe spoilage, and sulfide stinker spoilage which cause the content of the can to become acidic, swelling cans, and darken of product colour. Insufficient heat treatment results in survival of mainly spores of Clostridium and some Bacillus spp. The main concern is the survival and growth of Clo.botulinum because of its toxin producing ability. Damaged and leaked containers allow different types of microorganisms to get inside from environment to cause spoilage, making the product not safe to be consumed.

Fruit juices
Fruit juices are susceptible to spoilage by molds, yeasts, Lactobacillus, Leuconostoc, and Acetobacter spp. However, a particular type of juice may be susceptible to spoilage by different microbes. Molds and Acetobacter can grow if enough dissolved oxygen is available. Yeast can cause both oxidation and fermentation of the product to produce carbon dioxide plus water and alcohol plus carbon dioxide respectively. Acetobacter can use the alcohol produced by yeast to produce acetic acid. Heterofermentative Lab.fermentum and Leu.mesenteroides can ferment carbohydrates to lactate, ethanol, acetate, carbon dioxide, diacetyl, and acetoin.

Fruits. and Vegetables


In vegetables, common spoilage is caused by different types of molds such as those from genera Penicillium, Phytopthora, Alternaria, Botrytis, and Aspergillus. The presence of air, high humidity, and higher temperature during storage increases the chances of spoilage. Among the bacterial genera which cause vegetable spoilages are species from Pseudomonas, Erwinia, Bacillus, and Clostridium. In fruits, microbial spoilage is confined to molds, yeasts, and aciduric bacteria such as lactic acid bacteria, Acetobacter,and Gluconobactor. Like fresh vegetables, fruits are susceptible to rot by different types of molds from genera Penicillium, Aspergillus, Alternaria, Botrytis, Rhizopus, and others. Yeasts from genera Saccharomyces, Candida, Torulopsis, and Hansenula are associated with fruit fermentation such as in apples, strawberries, citrus fruits, and dates. Bacterial spoilage associated with souring of berries and figs has been attributed to the growth of lactic acid and acetic acid bacteria.

Fermented foods
Normally, only desirable and selected microorganisms are used directly and indirectly in fermentation of food such as meat, fish, milk, vegetables, fruits, cereal grains, and others. The desirable microorganisms are present in very high level and the products contain either high levels of organic acids or alcohol. However, under certain conditions, they are susceptible to microbial spoilage. Fermented meat products normally have a pH between 4.5 to 5.0 and a water activity btw 0.73 and 0.93. During fermentation, mesophilic bacteria such as Clostridium and Bacillus can grow if the acid production of homofermentative lactic acid bacteria is slow. Vacuum packed product with pH lower than 5.0 but with water activity of 0.92 or above can be spoiled by heterofermentative bacteria. If they are not vacuum packed and have a low water activity, yeast and mold can grow on the surface, resulting in slime formation, discoloration, and undesirable flavor of the products.

Eggs and egg products


For the shell eggs, eggshells pores and inner membrane do not prevent entrance of bacteria and hyphae of molds, especially when the pore size increases during storage. The presence of moisture enhances the entrance of motile bacterial. The most predominant spoilage of shell eggs is caused by gram negative, motile rods from several genera which include Pseudomonas, Proteus, Alcaligenes, Aeromonas, and the coliform group. The difference type of spoilage are designated as rot. On some occasion, molds from genera Penicillium, Alternaria, and Mucor can grow inside eggs, especially when the eggs are oiled, and produce different types of fungal rots. For the egg products, pasteurized and frozen liquid eggs are often used as ingredient. However, pasteurized eggs at refrigerated temperature have limited shelf life unless additional preservatives are added. The predominant bacteria in pasteurized products are some gram-positive bacteria that survive pasteurization, but spoilage is mainly caused by psychrotrophic gram negative bacteria that gets into the products after pasteurization.