Chapter 24 - The Emergence of Predominance in the Constitutive Microflora of Dairy Membrane Biofilms

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Book Chapter

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The filtration membranes used in dairy liquids provide a large surface area for the potential for the bacteria to colonize. The temperature of the feed plays a critical role in the formation and growth rate of bacterial communities to form firm biofilms on the membranes. Biofouling adversely affects the structural integrity of the membrane, leading the system failure, therefore, increasing the operational and maintenance cost. Biofilm-composing Bacillus species are often involved in sedulous contamination and spoilage of dairy products. These can survive in various components of dairy manufacturing plants, leading to a high risk of product spoilage and potential dissemination of foodborne diseases. Multiple species secrete in a biofilm matrix, which acts as a shield and aids in developing resilient biofilms that are very difficult to clean.

The populations of microorganisms within the common setting outcompete one microbial population over the other when the competition is focused on a single resource, hence, emerging as predominant in a constitutive microflora. Besides, studies have demonstrated the importance of dual-species biofilm in which one bacterial strain stimulates the attachment of other bacterial strains. That can protect other strains against the disinfectants hence, leading to its predominance within a mixed species growth and thus, proving the cleaning and sanitization protocols to be ineffective in adequately removing resilient biofilms. This subsequently leads to selecting microbial resistance within the constitutive microflora to almost all antimicrobial treatments hence, creating a need to develop novel alternative strategies to control biofilm formation on membrane surfaces.

Publication Title

Understanding Microbial Biofilms : Fundamentals to Applications

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