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Characterization of Bacillus cereus Isolates from Raw Soybean Sprouts

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Raw soybean sprouts, which are used as ingredients in cook-chilled products, were analyzed to evaluate the incidence of mesophilic aerobic microorganisms, psychrotrophic microorganisms, anaerobic microorganisms, coliforms, and spore-forming microorganisms Bacillus cereus, Clostridium botulinum, and Clostridium perfringens. Mesophilic microorganisms on raw soybean sprouts were present in large populations, 5.5 × 106 to 1.4 × 108 CFU/g, and psychrotrophic microorganisms were found to be more numerous than the other groups. Coliforms accounted for 15% of mesophilic microorganism counts on average, and the average for spore-forming microorganisms was 5.2 × 102 CFU/g. B. cereus was isolated from 12 of 17 soybean sprout samples, whereas C. botulinum and C. perfringens were not isolated. B. cereus was isolated in greater numbers at 30°C compared with other temperatures and was not isolated at 4°C. Of the 55 strains isolated from soybean sprouts, 52 were positive for starch hydrolysis, and only 3 strains did not hydrolyze starch. Among the 55 strains of B. cereus isolates, 53 showed the ability to produce diarrheal enterotoxin by CRET-RPLA.


Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: 1: Division of Life Sciences, Kyungnam University, Masan 631-701, Korea 2: Division of Animal Life Science, Konkuk University, Seoul 143-701, Korea

Publication date: May 1, 2004

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