Food Spoilage

Food spoilage results when microbiological, chemical, or physical changes occur, rendering the food product unacceptable to the consumer. Microbiological food spoilage is caused by the growth of microorganisms which produce enzymes that lead to objectionable by-products in the food. A significant proportion of the loss is due to spoilage by microorganisms, resulting in final products with an inadequate shape or appearance. It has been estimated that about 25% of all foods produced globally are lost due to microbial spoilage. Spoilage microbes are often common inhabitants of soil, water, or the intestinal tracts of animals and may be dispersed through the air and water and by the activities of small animals, particularly insects. Troublesome spoilage microorganisms include aerobic psychrotrophic Gram-negative bacteria, yeasts, molds, heterofermentative lactobacilli, and spore-forming bacteria. Psychrotrophic bacteria can produce large amounts of extracellular hydrolytic enzymes, and the extent of recontamination of pasteurized fluid milk products with these bacteria is a major determinant of their shelf life. Fungal spoilage of dairy foods is manifested by the presence of a wide variety of metabolic by-products, causing off-odors and flavors, in addition to visible changes in color or texture. Therefore, it is important not only to grow more, but also to save what is grown at high cost.

 

 

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