Post-Pasteurization Contamination Monitoring: A Canary in the Coal Mine
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Post-Pasteurization Contamination Monitoring: A Canary in the Coal Mine

Post-pasteurization contamination in dairy plants is a warning signal for potential food safety and spoilage concerns. While having an effective sanitation program gets the most attention, good sanitation alone cannot guarantee product quality and food safety. Sampling and testing products during processing are critical for identifying potential sources of post-pasteurization contamination. Possible causes of post-pasteurization…

Low-Spore Milk Production—The Mantra and its Benefits
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Low-Spore Milk Production—The Mantra and its Benefits

Guest post: We are proud to introduce our guest blogger, David Blomquist. He is a well-known and respected consultant in the dairy and food processing industry. Read his full bio at the end of this article. Low-spore milk production has financial benefits for many producers and processors. Fluid milk plants can reduce shelf-life issues by…

Aseptic Sampling for Dairy Plants—Representative or Grab Sampling?
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Aseptic Sampling for Dairy Plants—Representative or Grab Sampling?

Aseptic sampling for dairy plants is essential for quality management. A dairy processor can only be assured of final product quality if strict, comprehensive sampling and testing protocols are followed throughout the process, from unloading the milk at the plant to the finished product. Aseptic and representative sampling for dairy plants is crucial for accurate…

Aseptic Sampling System for Tanker Trucks: Improves Safety, Reduces Injuries, Increases Productivity and Profits
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Aseptic Sampling System for Tanker Trucks: Improves Safety, Reduces Injuries, Increases Productivity and Profits

This is a guest post written by Mark Z. Moores, CPCU, ARM, AAI, President, Moores Insurance Management, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is a highly respected adviser in the insurance industry. See Author Bio at the end of the post. Compared to other industries, trucking, including the milk tanker industry, has some of the highest work-related injury…

Bacteriophage Control Using Closed Bulk Starter Vessel Inoculation – Part 2
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Bacteriophage Control Using Closed Bulk Starter Vessel Inoculation – Part 2

Bacteriophage control and management for preventing phage invasions are challenges many dairy processing plants face. Starter culture bacteria play an essential role by converting milk sugar (lactose) into lactic acid in making dairy products such as cheese and yogurt. Photomicrograph of yogurt showing S. thermophilus and L. bulgaricus. (Image: Courtesy of Mullan, Michael. (2014). Starter…

Using Bulk-Tank Somatic Cell Counts for Monitoring Milk Quality and Udder Health
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Using Bulk-Tank Somatic Cell Counts for Monitoring Milk Quality and Udder Health

Bulk-tank somatic cell counts (BTSCCs) are measured and monitored from Federal Milk Marketing Orders (FMMOs) to determine the quality of the milk supply in the U.S. BTSCCs are defined as the number of white blood cells, secretory cells, and squamous cells per milliliter of raw milk. Milk processors monitor BTSCCs in the nation’s milk shipments…

Impact of Bacteriophages in Dairy Processing – Part 1
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Impact of Bacteriophages in Dairy Processing – Part 1

The quality of milk can be negatively impacted by multiple sources of contamination in a dairy processing plant. Previous blogs focused primarily on microbial contamination of raw milk caused by various bacteria. For products such as cheese and yogurt, starter culture bacteria play a positive and essential role. However, the fermentation function of starter cultures can be threatened by another microbial contamination, bacteriophages, or phages as…

Psychrotrophic Bacteria in Pasteurized Milk—Spoilage, Testing, and Line Sampling
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Psychrotrophic Bacteria in Pasteurized Milk—Spoilage, Testing, and Line Sampling

Bacteria in pasteurized milk is the leading cause of spoilage and reducing shelf-life. Refer to my earlier posts, How Bacterial Generation Times Impact Fluid Milk Quality and Shelf-life and Heat-Resistant Psychrotrophic Bacteria and Their Effect on the Quality of Pasteurized Milk. In those posts, I discussed the collective efforts of the dairy industry and regulatory…

How Bacterial Generation Times Impact Fluid Milk Quality and Shelf-life
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How Bacterial Generation Times Impact Fluid Milk Quality and Shelf-life

Bacterial generation times have a significant impact on the quality of fluid milk and its shelf-life regardless of the source of microbial contamination. While many factors can lower the quality of fluid milk and reduce shelf-life, the most significant is microbial spoilage. “As the ability to kill, remove, or control microbial growth in pasteurized refrigerated milk…

Biofilms in the Dairy Processing Industry—What and Why are They Important?
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Biofilms in the Dairy Processing Industry—What and Why are They Important?

Biofilms in the dairy processing industry are a big problem because they threaten the quality and safety of dairy products. The growth of bacterial biofilms is the primary reason for microbial contamination of milk and other dairy products. “In recent years, the formation and impacts of biofilms on dairy manufacturing have been studied extensively, from…