Seasonal and regional occurrence of heat-resistant spore-forming bacteria in the course of ultra-high temperature milk production in Tunisia

Abstract : Spore-forming bacteria, principally Bacillus species, are important contaminants of milk. Because of their high heat resistance, Bacillus species spores are capable of surviving the heat treatment process of milk and lead to spoilage of the final product. To determine the factors influencing the contamination of milk, spore-forming bacteria occurrence throughout the UHT milk production line during winter, spring, and summer was studied. The obtained results confirm that the total viable rate decreases rapidly throughout the production line of UHT milk showing the efficiency of thermal treatments used. However, the persistent high rate of spore-forming bacteria indicates their high heat resistance , especially in spring and summer. In addition, a significant variation of the quality of raw milk according to the location of the collecting centers was revealed. The molecular identification showed a high degree of diversity of heat-resistant Bacillus species, which are isolated from different milk samples. The distribution of Bacillus species in raw milk, stored milk, bactofuged milk, pasteurized milk, and UHT milk were 28, 10, 16, 13, and 33%, respectively. Six Bacillus spp. including Bacillus licheniformis (52.38%), Bacillus pumilus (9.52%), Bacillus sp. (4.76%), Bacillus sporothermodurans (4.76%), Terribacillus aidingensis (4.76%), and Paenibacillus sp. (4.76%) were identified in different milk samples.
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S. Kmiha, C. Aouadhi, A. Klibi, A. Jouini, A. Bejaoui, et al.. Seasonal and regional occurrence of heat-resistant spore-forming bacteria in the course of ultra-high temperature milk production in Tunisia. Journal of Dairy Science, American Dairy Science Association, 2017, 100 (8), pp.6090-6099. ⟨10.3168/jds.2016-11616⟩. ⟨pasteur-02017875⟩

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