Spoilage Microorganisms in Milk

 The microbial quality of raw milk is crucial for the production of quality dairy foods. Spoilage is a term used to describe the deterioration of a foods' texture, colour, odour or flavour to the point where it is unappetizing or unsuitable for human consumption. Microbial spoilage of food often involves the degradation of protein, carbohydrates, and fats by the microorganisms or their enzymes.

In milk, the microorganisms that are principally involved in spoilage are psychrotrophic organisms. Most psychrotrophs are destroyed by pasteurization temperatures, however, some like Pseudomonas fluorescens, Pseudomonas fragi can produce proteolytic and lipolytic extracellular enzymes which are heat stable and capable of causing spoilage.

Some species and strains of Bacillus, Clostridium, Cornebacterium, Arthrobacter, Lactobacillus, Microbacterium, Micrococcus, and Streptococcus can survive pasteurization and grow at refrigeration temperatures which can cause spoilage problems.