Molecular Analysis of Spoilage-Related Bacteria in Pasteurized Milk during Refrigeration by PCR and Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis

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Bacterial diversity in fluid milk products has been extensively studied in order to improve milk quality. Here, we illustrate the utility of viable counts and PCR–denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) for monitoring the microbial spoilage of pasteurized milk during shelf life. Five pasteurized milk samples stored at 4°C were examined at 10 and 5 days before expiration and on the expiration day. With bacterial DNA extracted directly from the samples, PCR-DGGE analysis indicated that Pseudomonas became dominant in four samples. Meanwhile, the aerobic plate count of these four samples exceeded the regulatory limit of 20,000 CFU/ml at 5 days before expiration, and the rapid psychrotrophic count markedly surpassed the aerobic plate count on the expiration day. Streptococcus and Buttiauxella spp. were detected in several samples. Sequence analysis of DGGE fragments revealed high diversity among Pseudomonas spp. in the milk samples. P. putida and P. migulae grew to high numbers during refrigerated storage. Further identification of Pseudomonas at the species level was facilitated by PCR and multiplex PCR using species-specific primers; consequently, P. fluorescens and P. fragi were observed. These results highlight an important role of Pseudomonas in the shelf life of pasteurized milk.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences, 1955 East-West Road, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hawaii 96822, USA 2: Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences, 1955 East-West Road, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hawaii 96822, USA;, Email:

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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    First published in 1937, the Journal of Food Protection®, is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection® is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

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