Research – Fruit Juice Spoilage by Alicyclobacillus: Detection and Control Methods—A Comprehensive Review

MDPI

Fruit juices have an important place in humans’ healthy diet. They are considered to be shelf stable products due to their low pH that prevents the growth of most bacteria. However thermo-acidophilic endospore forming bacteria of the genus Alicyclobacillus have the potential to cause spoilage of commercially pasteurized fruit juices. The flat sour type spoilage, with absence of gas production but presence of chemical taint compounds (mostly guaiacol) and the ability of Alicyclobacillus spores to survive after pasteurization and germinate under favorable conditions make them a major concern for the fruit juice industry worldwide. Their special characteristics and presence in the fruit juice industry has resulted in the development of many isolation and identification methods based on cell detection (plating methods, ELISA, flow cytometry), nucleic acid analysis (PCR, RAPD-PCR, ERIC-PCR, DGGE-PCR, RT-PCR, RFLP-PCR, IMS-PCR, qPCR, and 16S rRNA sequencing) and measurement of their metabolites (HPLC, GC, GC-MS, GC-O, GC-SPME, Electronic nose, and FTIR). Early detection is a big challenge that can reduce economic loss in the industry while the development of control methods targeting the inactivation of Alicyclobacillus is of paramount importance as well. This review includes a discussion of the various chemical (oxidants, natural compounds of microbial, animal and plant origin), physical (thermal pasteurization), and non-thermal (High Hydrostatic Pressure, High Pressure Homogenization, ultrasound, microwaves, UV-C light, irradiation, ohmic heating and Pulse Electric Field) treatments to control Alicyclobacillus growth in order to ensure the quality and the extended shelf life of fruit juices.

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