Indicators in Food Microbiology

Indicators in Food Microbiology

Bacterial Groups Relevant to Food Microbiology

In Unit 1 we classified bacteria accordingly:

 Good (Beneficial)
 Bad (Spoilage)
 Very Bad (Pathogenic)

The primary interest in food microbiology is producing safe food with adequate shelf life


 Looking for specific bacteria that cause spoilage or food-borne illness is like looking for a needle in a haystack

 An indicator (index) in food microbiology is needed to confirm that the food is safe and has adequate shelf life

• Provide a gauge of product shelf life
• Highlight potential hazards
• An assessment of the previous history of food product
• Evaluation of the efficacy of control measures to prevent and/or inactivate microbial activity

Spoilage Indicators

Types of the bacterial counts will depend on the nature of the product

• Total Aerobic Count
• Psychrotrophic Count
• Lactic acid bacteria
• Yeast and molds

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