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Dairy Researchers Identify Bacterial Spoilers in Milk

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Our days of crying over spoiled milk could be over, thanks to Cornell food scientists.

Milk undergoes heat treatment -- pasteurization -- to kill off microbes that can cause food spoilage and disease, but certain bacterial strains can survive this heat shock as spores and cause milk to curdle in storage.

Researchers in the Milk Quality Improvement Program at Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences have identified the predominant spore-forming bacteria in milk and their unique enzyme activity, knowledge that can now be used to protect the quality and shelf life of dairy products.

"Control of food spoilage is critical in a world that needs to feed 7 billion people," said Martin Wiedmann, food science professor and study co-author. "Approximately 25 percent of post-harvest food is spoiled by microbes before it is consumed."
 
 

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