Identification of bacteria to help the apple juice producer



Spoilage Matters: Identifying Bacteria to Help Apple Juice Producer

Apple juice producers are better helped to avoid spoilage of their products thanks to a new Cornell University study that identifies three new species of bacteria, one of which fouls the flavor.

The three new species – Alicyclobacillus mali, A. fructus, and A. suci – all belong to the genus Alicyclobacillus, corn A. suci has been shown to produce a compound called guaiacol, which is known in other Alicyclobacillus species to create a medicinal, smoky or chewy flavor in shelf-stable apple juice.

While Alicyclobacillus bacteria can affect the quality of the juice and lead to spoilage, they are not a food safety problem.

“Better understand the structure of Alicyclobacillus genus and the potential for spoilage of individual species lead to improved quality management decisions that reduce waste and improve customer satisfaction, ”said Abigail Snyder, assistant professor of microbial food safety at Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and main author of a paper published in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. Katerina Roth, a graduate student from Snyder’s lab, is the article’s first author.

The results will allow manufacturers to identify whether their juices contain A. suci, which leads to deterioration. It will also help them refine their Alicyclobacillus control strategies and will support the development of diagnostic tools and technologies for industry, Snyder said.

Apple juice is acidic and is often heated during pasteurization, conditions that inhibit most bacteria. Unfortunately, Alicyclobacillus bacteria are extremophiles whose spores are able to survive extreme heat and high acidity. Bacteria come from orchards and soils and can contaminate apples used to make juice. After the juice has been processed and bottled for products such as apple juice, concentrates, teas, sports drinks, and coconut water, the spores can germinate, develop and produce guaiacol. , causing deterioration. In addition, the effects are not visible; the drinks seem fine.

Once spoiled, producers can be forced to throw the products away, and if sold, disgruntled consumers can damage a brand’s reputation, Snyder said.

“This is a significant quality defect that you cannot see ahead of time and cannot control through conventional inhibition or inactivation strategies used to manage other food quality issues. “Snyder said.

The researchers used genomic, biochemical and phenotypic analyzes to identify the three new Alicyclobacillus species.

Image Credit: © stock.adobe.com / au / ricka_kinamoto


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