Main content area

Spoilage Pseudomonas biofilm with Escherichia coli protection in fish meat at 5 °C

Sterniša, Meta, Klančnik, Anja, Smole Možina, Sonja
Journal of the science of food and agriculture 2019 v.99 no.10 pp. 4635-4641
Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas fragi, bacteria, bacterial adhesion, biofilm, biomass production, fish meat, fish processing, hydrophobicity, nutrients, polystyrenes, refrigeration, spoilage, spoilage bacteria, stainless steel, temperature, virulent strains
BACKGROUND: Pseudomonas are part of the indigenous microbiota of different foods, where they gradually cause spoilage. In fish meat, Pseudomonas fragi and Pseudomonas psychrophila have been identified as important spoilers. The initial aim of this study was to investigate the physiological characteristics, adhesion, and biofilm of P. fragi and P. psychrophila under temperatures related to the fish‐processing industry. The further aim was to define the problem of increased growth of pathogenic bacteria in the presence of spoilage bacteria in vitro and in fish meat. RESULTS: Temperature dependence on physiological characteristics, adhesion, and biofilm was observed. Hydrophobicity and autoaggregation were most prominent at 15 °C, and at this temperature floating biofilm was also formed. The adhesion of these Pseudomonas was up to 2 log CFU cm⁻¹ more pronounced on stainless steel than polystyrene, with up to five times greater biofilm biomass production at 5 °C on polystyrene. This paralleled at least a 0.5 log CFU g⁻¹ increase in the pathogenic bacterium Escherichia coli in fish meat. CONCLUSION: Pseudomonas fragi and P. psychrophila adhesion and biofilm depend on the temperature, and are stimulated by temperatures that can occur during the processing and storage of fish meat. Strong Pseudomonas biofilm formation under refrigeration conditions is protective for E. coli, potentially by providing more favorable conditions by ensuring a higher concentration of nutrients. Interactions between spoilage Pseudomonas and pathogenic bacteria can occur through different mechanisms, and an understanding of these is of particular importance to ensure the overall quality and safety of fish meat and other proteinaceous foods. © 2019 Society of Chemical Industry