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Molecular Biology To Control Dairy Products Quality
March 13, 2007 19:49


Russian think-tank from research-and-development institute “GosNIIGenetika” has developed very fast and accurate technique for controlling quality of dairy products, which is based on most reliable and common methods of molecular biology – molecular typing and PCR (polymerase chain reaction) analysis.

You don’t have to be a Nobel Prize laureate to know that quality of yoghurts or various sorts of cheese, for example, strongly depends on species of lactic acid bacteria and other microorganisms present in starters, which are the essence of dairy food production. Today all those, who are interested in bacterial species composition, usually define it by means of biochemical techniques, which are time-consuming and, moreover, are not accurate enough. One cannot, for example, be absolutely sure while distinguishing dangerous enterococci from important lactic acid bacteria, because they show quite similar biochemical characteristics. The result can turn ready dairy products into potentially hazard for consumers’ health.

 

 The technology, which was developed by research fellows of the bacterial genetics laboratory of research-and-development institute “GosNIIGenetika”, allows better quality control of cheese, sour cream, yoghurt and other dairy products. Said technique provides quite fast identification of almost 100% of microorganism species in a product.

The technology is based upon comparing nucleotide sequences of bacterial DNA. For this purpose scientists suggest using molecular typing technique (MTT) and PCR (polymerase chain reaction) analysis. Even related microorganisms have different DNA base nucleotide composition, thus researchers obtain high accuracy needed in said method. Molecular typing technique and polymerase chain reaction are so sensitive, that allow distinguishing bacteria not only on the species level, but also on the strain level. Such sensitivity opens up new possibilities for method application in dairy production, as well as in many other fields, which require precise data on microbial population.

 

Abovementioned molecular technique boasts distinct advantages; however it doesn’t totally lack drawbacks. Main drawbacks of the technology are high equipment costs and expensive experiments. Moreover, operating modern equipment requires skilled professionals, who are currently in high demand. Indicated factors make the technology unavailable for most manufacturers, thus they are not in a hurry to tart using it. However, research fellows from research-and-development institute “GosNIIGenetika” claim that several major companies have expressed keen interest in described developments, and active cooperation is flourishing between Russian scientists and manufacturers.

Source:
    Commercial Biotechnology

Kizilova Anna


Tags: health     

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