Microorganisms are important to the dairy industry. Some bacteria and molds are used to manufacture dairy products while others cause spoilage or are potential health hazards. Many of the microbiological problems challenging the dairy industry in the 1980s will not be new. Psychrotrophic bacteria will continue to be a problem, but more effort will be directed toward elucidating their effect on processing properties of milk and the significance of enzymes produced by them. Heat-stable enzymes that cause quality problems will become more important as efforts to achieve a longer shelf-life for products are realized. Acceptance of reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration for concentrating milk and whey might increase if energy costs continue to rise or if economic advantages such as increased cheese yield can be accomplished. Microbiological problems associated with the product processed, processing parameters and sanitary design of this equipment will emerge if greater use of the technology is implemented. Microbial production of toxic metabolites and biologically active chemicals such as mycotoxins and amines will emerge as primary factors in the public health area as the research in food toxicology expand.

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Author notes

1Technical Article No. 16225 of the Texas Agricultural Extention Station.