Beneficial role of Microorganisms in Food Industry

Microorganism plays a crucial role in the food industry. Food microbiology is used to produce various food products and also responsible for food spoilage, therefore, causing intoxication and diseases. Microbial contamination of food products takes place generally o the way from the field to process plants, while processing, storage, transport, and distribution.

Food Microbiology covers the studies on:

  • Food spoilage by different types of microorganisms like bacteria and fungi.
  • To test food and food products for microbial contamination.
  • To process the method for preventing food spoilage and to preserve new techniques.
  • Use of different microorganisms to produce various food products.

Microorganism Growth and food spoilage

Various food products provide an ideal growth condition for microorganisms. Microbial growth is monitored by intricate factors like nutrients, moisture content, physical structure, PH, or other temperatures like relative humidity, gases. Microorganisms are continues to grow in the optimum condition given by external and internal factors. It finally resulted in spoilage and degradation of food products resulting in a sour, foul-smelling, or fungus-covered mass.

Microbial food contamination can occur at any point in time in the food production process. It includes

  • Growth
  • Harvesting
  • Transport
  • Storage
  • Final preparation

Spoilage occurs when foods are not stored properly. Meat and dairy products are very rich in protein, and fat serves as an important environment for microbial spoilage. Vegetables and fruits undergo a separate type of spoilage as it contains less fat and protein.

Microbiological testing of Food

There are typically two vital strategies to test food products:

Determination of Microbiological Quality

It is accomplished by determining the entire viable count of food samples. It includes Total Bacteria Count, Total yeast, and mold count. These tests provide a detailed regarding the microbial quality of the food products.

Determination of Food safety

These tests involve analysis and testing of food samples for food pathogens that belong to the Enterobateri group, Enterococci, coliforms, E.coli, and other pathogens as Pseudomonas sp. Clostridia, Salmonella, lactic acid bacteria, molds, etc.

What are the uses of food microbiology?

More than 3500 fermented foods exist in the world. They belong to animal or vegetable origin and are part of our daily life. Alcoholic drink is not only fermented drinks; there are other components recognized as fermented drinks like cocoa beans, coffee grains, and tea leaves are fermented after harvesting and to develop their typical flavor profiles.


It is the largest group of unicellular microorganisms. The particular shapes of medically important bacteria are classified into cocci, spherical cells, cylindrical-shaped cells, and spiral or curved forms. Some of the other common bacteria causing food spoilage, infections, and disease are Listeria, Vibrio, Shigella, Yersinia, Serratia, Enterococcus, etc.

Agriculture Food and Analytical Bacteriology

If a microorganism reacts with a measurable response to a certain chemical entity and yields a proper result, then the analytical method of substance might be devised as per the requirements of food, culture, fermentation.


Molds are the multicellular filamentous fungi whose growth in food is usually recognized by fuzzy appearance. Molds are the most significant contributor to ripe any oriental food.


It has the ability to ferment sugar to ethanol and carbon dioxide; therefore, it is extensively used in the food industry.

To sum up

Microorganisms contain great significance in the food industry for the following reason:

  • It can cause spoilage of foods.
  • Microorganisms are used for manufacturing a wide variety of food products.
  • The microbial disease can be transmitted by foods.

Genetic engineering has a broad implementation for the future by producing foreign genes into microorganisms.

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