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Title: The use of analytical techniques for the rapid detection of microbial spoilage and adulteration in milk
Author: Nicolaou-Markide, Nicoletta
ISNI:       0000 0004 2708 9252
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2011
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Milk is an important nutritious component of our diet consumed by most humans on a daily basis. Microbiological spoilage affects its safe use and consumption, its organoleptic properties and is a major part of its quality control process. European Union legislation and the Hazard Analysis and the Critical Control Point (HACCP) system in the dairy industry are therefore in place to maintain both the safety and the quality of milk production in the dairy industry. A main limitation of currently used methods of milk spoilage detection in the dairy industry is the time-consuming and sometimes laborious turnover of results. Attenuated total reflectance (ATR) and high throughput (HT) Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy metabolic fingerprinting techniques were investigated for their speed and accuracy in the enumeration of viable bacteria in fresh pasteurized cows' milk. Data analysis was performed using principal component-discriminant function analysis (PC-DFA) and partial least squares (PLS) multivariate statistical techniques. Accurate viable microbial loads were rapidly obtained after minimal sample preparation, especially when FTIR was combined with PLS, making it a promising technique for routine use by the dairy industry. FTIR and Raman spectroscopies in combination with multivariate techniques were also explored as rapid detection and enumeration techniques of S. aureus, a common milk pathogen, and Lactococcus lactis subsp cremoris, a common lactic acid bacterium (LAB) and potential antagonist of S. aureus, in ultra-heat treatment milk. In addition, the potential growth interaction between the two organisms was investigated. FTIR spectroscopy in combination with PLS and kernel PLS (KPLS) appeared to have the greatest potential with good discrimination and enumeration attributes for the two bacterial species even when in co-culture without previous separation. Furthermore, it was shown that the metabolic effect of L. cremoris predominates when in co-culture with S. aureus in milk but with minimal converse growth interaction between the two microorganisms and therefore potential implications in the manufacture of dairy products using LAB. The widespread and high consumption of milk make it a target for potential financial gain through adulteration with cheaper products reducing quality, breaking labeling and patent laws and potentially leading to dire health consequences. The time consuming and laborious nature of currently used analytical techniques in milk authentication enabled the study of FTIR spectroscopy and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-ToF-MS) as rapid analytical techniques in quantification of milk adulteration, using binary and tertiary fresh whole cows', goats' and sheep's milk mixture samples. Chemometric data analysis was performed using PLS and KPLS multivariate analyses. Overall, results indicated that both techniques have excellent enumeration and detection attributes for use in milk adulteration with good prospects for potential use in the dairy industry.
Supervisor: Goodacre, Royston Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: milk ; spoilage ; adulteration ; FT-IR ; Raman ; MALDI MS