Department Of Food Microbiology and Safety
the study of microorganisms, or microbes, a diverse group of generally minute, simple life-forms that include bacteria, algae, fungi, protozoa, viruses Yeasts, and Molds. The field is concerned with the structure, function, and classification of such organisms and with ways of both exploiting and controlling their activities.
Microbiology plays an important role in food safety, production, processing, preservation, and storage. Food microbiology students use a wide variety of modern technologies from fields including immunology, biotechnology, and molecular biology. Microbes such as yeasts, molds, and bacteria are being used for the production of foods and food ingredients. Beneficial microbes are exploited in the fermentative production, processing, and preservation of many foods and beverages. Spoilage microorganisms cost food producers, processors, and consumers millions of dollars annually in lost products. Lost productivity resulting from illness caused by foodborne microorganisms is an enormous economic burden throughout the world. The study of food microbiology includes understanding not only the factors influencing the growth of microorganisms in food systems but also the means of controlling them.
The following microorganisms affected the microorganisms.
Bacteria are the most important microorganisms to the food processor. Most are harmless, many are highly beneficial, some indicate the probable presence of, disease organisms, spoilage, and a few cause disease. There are thousands of species of bacteria, but all are single-celled and fall into three basic shapes: spherical, straight rods, and spiral rods. Some of the other most common bacteria causing food spoilage, infections and diseases
Different strains of bacteria are also used in the production of various food and dairy products.
Yeasts and Molds
Yeasts and molds grow on most foods, on equipment, and building surfaces where there are small amounts of nutrients and moisture. Since bacteria grow faster, they greatly outnumber yeasts and molds in most foods. However, bacteria find conditions of low pH, moisture, or temperature and high salt or sugar unfavorable. In such environments, yeasts or molds predominate. Thus, they can be a problem in dry foods, salted fish, bread, pickles, fruits, jams, jellies, and similar commodities. Molds, as found on bread, fruit, damp paper, or other surfaces, are actually composed of millions of microscopic cells joined together to form chains
Molds also find their use in the manufacturing of different foods and food products. They are used in the ripening of various types of food products as cheese. Molds are also grown as feed and food and are employed to produce ingredients such as enzymes like amylase used in making bread or citric acid used in soft drinks. Molds are major contributors to the ripening of many oriental foods. A species of Bothrytiscinerea is used in rotting of grape for the production of wine. Lactic fermentations using molds results in unique Finnish fermented milk called villi.
Yeasts have the ability to ferment sugars to ethanol and carbon dioxide and hence they are extensively in food industry. The most commonly used yeast, the baker’s yeast is grown industrially. Saccharomyces carlsbergensis is most commonly used in fermentation of most beers.
Viruses are the smallest microorganisms. Unlike bacteria, yeasts, and molds, viruses are incapable of reproducing independently. Instead, they must first invade the cells of another living organism called the host, before they can multiply. Hence, they are parasitic. As a result, viruses which infect bacteria, called bacteriophages, cannot infect human beings or other animals. On the other hand, several animal viruses, known as zoonotic, can infect human beings. The viruses are important to the food processing industries. Bacteriophage of lactic bacteria infected the starter cultures can interfere seriously with the manufacture of cheese, buttermilk, sauerkraut, pickles, wine, beer, and other desirable fermentative products. Viruses require a live host cell and cannot multiply in foods; they can remain viable and infectious for long periods of time, even under highly adverse conditions, such as drying, freezing, and pasteurization.
Possible research projects include the genetic control of microorganisms important to foods, the genetics, and biochemistry of bacteriophage, site-directed mutagenesis to improve catalytic functions of enzymes, the spoilage bacteria in fruit products, factors influencing the growth of human pathogens in foods, and rapid methods for detecting foodborne pathogens.
The majority of microbes usefully functions in the environment and in some branches of the food industry, such as the production of wine, beer, dairy products, bakery products, cheese, yogurt, bread, beer, wine, and other fermented foods. Fermentation is one of the methods to preserve food and alter its quality. Yeast, especially Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is used to leaven bread, brew beer, and make wine. Certain bacteria, including lactic acid bacteria, are used to make yogurt, cheese, hot sauce, pickles, fermented sausages, and dishes.
In food, technology field uses advanced methods to improve the quality and quantity of food by using microorganism. Food technology involves the process of designing and updating the manufacturing process of food products as well as new food and high-quality biological products can be prepared using microorganisms. Also, in industries microorganisms are used to preserve food and its quality.
In industrial food production, microorganisms play a critical role in the manufacturing of a variety of food substances.
- Antibiotics are important components of human welfare against infections and diseases. These are manufactured in industries using bacteria.
- Microorganisms are also involved in the commercial production of enzymes
- Ethanol is one of the important commercial chemicals which is produced by Saccharomyces cerevisiae
- Immunosuppressive agents like Cyclosporin are prepared from the fungus, Trichoderma.
- In food processing technology, some of the microorganisms are used for the preservation of packed food as well.
- Different strains of bacteria and fungus are used for the fermentation of dairy products for the production of a wide variety of cultured milk products. Both bacteria and fungi are used in these cheese production processes
- Lactic acid bacteria are used for coagulation of milk that can be processed to yield a wide variety of cheeses, including soft unripened, soft-ripened, semisoft, hard, and very hard types.
- Microorganisms such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are used as in the food and health industry.
- Spirulina, a cyanobacterium, also is a popular food source sold in specialty stores.
- Molds are used for rotting of grapes for the production of different varieties of wines.
- Mushrooms (Agaricusbisporus) are one of the most important fungi used as a food source.
- Alcoholic beverages as beer are produced by fermentation of cereals and grains using different strains of yeasts.
The department of Food & Industrial Microbiology is fully equipped with advance instruments available in the department. The following are the instruments.
- Biospectro Photometer
- Laminar airflow
- Digital Colony Counter
- Vortex Mixture
- Anaerobic Chamber
- Water Bath
- pH meter
- Magnetic Stirrer
- Orbital Shaker
- Digital Balance.