Food Microbiology and Enzymology
Microbes are the indicator organisms used in both processing and even production of food material. Microbial food cultures carry out the fermentation process in foodstuffs which helps to preserve perishable foods and to improve their nutritional and organoleptic qualities like smell and taste of the substance. Microbial food cultures preserve food through formation of inhibitory metabolites such as organic acid, often in combination with decrease of water activity and further help to improve food safety through inhibition of pathogens or removing of toxic compounds. Food industry has now generally adapted quality assurance systems and is implementing the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) concept. There is a need for rapid and simple microbiological tests which can be adapted to the technology and logistics of specific production processes. Traditional microbiological methods generally do not meet these high requirements. Extensive scientific study continues to characterize microbial food cultures traditionally used in food fermentation taxonomically, physiologically, biochemically and genetically. This allows better understanding and improvement of traditional food processing and opens up new fields of applications.