Distribution of Pseudomonas species in a dairy plant affected by occasional blue discoloration

  • Francesco Chiesa | francesco.chiesa@unito.it Dipartimento di Scienze Veterinarie, Università di Torino, Italy.
  • Sara Lomonaco Dipartimento di Scienze Veterinarie, Università di Torino, Italy.
  • Daniele Nucera Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Forestali e Alimentari, Università di Torino, Italy.
  • Davide Garoglio Dipartimento di Scienze Veterinarie, Università di Torino, Italy.
  • Alessandra Dalmasso Dipartimento di Scienze Veterinarie, Università di Torino, Italy.
  • Tiziana Civera Dipartimento di Scienze Veterinarie, Università di Torino, Italy.

Abstract

During 2010 many cases of discoloration in mozzarella, popularly termed as blue mozzarella, have been reported to the attention of public opinion. Causes of the alteration were bacteria belonging to the genus Pseudomonas. The strong media impact of such cases has created confusion, not only among consumers, but also among experts. In order to help improving the knowledge on microbial ecology of this microorganism a study has been set up with the collaboration of a medium-sized dairy plant producing fresh mozzarella cheese, with occasional blue discoloration, conducting surveys and sampling in the pre-operational, operational and post-operational process phase, milk before and after pasteurization, water (n=12), environmental surfaces (n=22) and the air (n=27). A shelf life test was conducted on finished products stored at different temperatures (4-8°C). Among the isolates obtained from the microbiological analysis of the samples, 60 were subjected to biomolecular tests in order to confirm the belonging to Pseudomonas genus and to get an identification at species level by the amplification and sequencing of the gyrB gene. The results of microbiological tests demonstrated the presence of microorganisms belonging to the genus Pseudomonas along the entire production lane; molecular tests showed 7 different species among the 40 isolates identified. One particular species (Pseudomonas koreensis) was isolated from blue discolored mozzarella cheese and was indicated as the most relevant for the production plant, both for the distribution along the processing chain and for the consequences on the finished product.

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Published
2014-12-10
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Original Articles
Keywords:
Pseudomonas, Dairy products, Blue discoloration
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How to Cite
Chiesa, F., Lomonaco, S., Nucera, D., Garoglio, D., Dalmasso, A., & Civera, T. (2014). Distribution of Pseudomonas species in a dairy plant affected by occasional blue discoloration. Italian Journal of Food Safety, 3(4). https://doi.org/10.4081/ijfs.2014.1722