Food Microbiology

Bacteria are the most important microorganisms to the food processor. Most are harmless, many are highly beneficial, some indicate the probable presence of filth, disease organisms, spoilage and a few cause disease. There are thousands of species of bacteria, but all are single-celled and fall into three basic shapes: spherical, straight rods, and spiral rods. To see them, you need a microscope that magnifies about 1000-fold. All bacteria reproduce by dividing into two cells. The two cells then divide to become 4, 4 become 8, and so forth. Under ideal conditions, this doubling may occur as frequently as every 15 minutes, so that within 5 hours there will be more than a million cells from the original single cell. If there are 1000 original cells instead of a single one, there will be over 1 billion cells in 5 hours Some rod-shaped bacteria are capable of existing in two forms, dormant spores and active vegetative cells. Vegetative cells form spores under adverse conditions as a means of survival. Spore forms preserve the bacteria from starvation, drying, freezing, chemicals, and heat. When conditions become favourable, the spores germinate, with each spore again becoming a vegetative cell with the ability to reproduce. Among the bacteria, sporulation is not a means of reproduction since each cell forms a single spore which later germinates into a single cell again. Most sporulating bacteria that grow in the presence of air belong to the Genus Bacillus, and most that grow only in the absence of air belong to the Genus Clostridium.

  • Food mycology
  • Microbial aspects of food spoilage & quality
  • Microbial ecology of foods
  • Thermal processing
  • Food utilization
  • Bakery and confectionery
  • Liquid concentration
  • Sanitation technologies
  • Sustainable technologies
  • Food contamination

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