Chapter 5 : Milk and Dairy Products

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Dairy-associated microbes are important determinants of food quality and safety and are essential for the production of fermented dairy products. Built upon over 130 years of dairy food microbiology research, this chapter focuses on the microbial ecology and systems biology of dairy products from the perspective of culture-independent metagenomics research. Recent studies have provided new perspectives on the microbial composition in raw and processed fluid milk from bovine, goat, and other animal sources and the introduction and succession of those microbes on the farm and at processing facilities. Also discussed are microbiotas in cheese and cheese-associated environments. The diversity of cheese varieties is possible because of those microorganisms and the metabolic processes they perform. The bacteria contained in milk and found on processing equipment, as well as starter cultures, bacteriophages, enzymes and other ingredients, and production and ripening conditions, have interconnected effects, resulting in different cheese varieties with distinct organoleptic properties. Lastly, the microbial composition of other fermented dairy products is presented, including fermented milk beverages such as kefir, yogurt, koumiss, kurut, nunu, and tarag. High-throughput “-omics” approaches have revolutionized our understanding of the ecology and molecular capacities of dairy-associated microbes. With continued methodological and technical advances, these methods will propel improvements in dairy quality and safety assurance and will accelerate a fundamental understanding of complex microbial ecosystems.

Citation: Xue Z, Marco M. 2019. Milk and Dairy Products, p 103-123. In Doyle M, Diez-Gonzalez F, Hill C (ed), Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, 5th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819972.ch5
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Figure 5.1

Sources and factors influencing milk and dairy product microbial composition, as well as genomics-based methods for determining microbiological variation in dairy products.

Citation: Xue Z, Marco M. 2019. Milk and Dairy Products, p 103-123. In Doyle M, Diez-Gonzalez F, Hill C (ed), Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, 5th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819972.ch5
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Figure 5.2

Steps in cheese manufacturing with the greatest influence on microbial populations.

Citation: Xue Z, Marco M. 2019. Milk and Dairy Products, p 103-123. In Doyle M, Diez-Gonzalez F, Hill C (ed), Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, 5th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819972.ch5
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Generic image for table
Table 5.1

The most prevalent bacteria in bovine milk and their likely sources and applications

Citation: Xue Z, Marco M. 2019. Milk and Dairy Products, p 103-123. In Doyle M, Diez-Gonzalez F, Hill C (ed), Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, 5th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819972.ch5
Generic image for table
Table 5.2

The most prevalent bacteria in goat milk

Citation: Xue Z, Marco M. 2019. Milk and Dairy Products, p 103-123. In Doyle M, Diez-Gonzalez F, Hill C (ed), Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, 5th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819972.ch5
Generic image for table
Table 5.3

High-throughput sequencing studies of cheese and cheese-related environments

Citation: Xue Z, Marco M. 2019. Milk and Dairy Products, p 103-123. In Doyle M, Diez-Gonzalez F, Hill C (ed), Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, 5th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819972.ch5
Generic image for table
Table 5.4

Abundant microbes identified in kefir with high-throughput DNA sequencing methods

Citation: Xue Z, Marco M. 2019. Milk and Dairy Products, p 103-123. In Doyle M, Diez-Gonzalez F, Hill C (ed), Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, 5th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819972.ch5