Identifying bioprotective cultures that extend the shelf life of dairy products
A study of microbial interactions to select new consortia of bioprotective cultures of interest to dairy productionMarie Filteau, Ismail Fliss
Who has never found a container of yogurt in the back of their refrigerator dotted with blue-green flecks, destined only for the trash? Diary products have a limited shelf life due to undesirable microorganisms that develop and alter their taste. This is the case for yogurt, pasteurized milk and grated cheese, to name just a few. However, it may be possible to control the growth of these microorganisms by using bioprotective cultures. Bioprotective cultures produce natural antimicrobial compounds that can slow the appearance of bacteria, yeasts and mould, in addition to preventing the formation of compounds with unpleasant odours, resulting in food products with a longer shelf life. Professor Marie Filteau is beginning to research how different bioprotective cultures interact with harmful microorganisms by applying new, systematic analysis methods on a large scale. Ultimately, her team plans to develop mixes of bioprotective cultures adapted to specific dairy products to increase their shelf life and thereby reduce food waste.