S1 Beyond the Standard Plate Count: Entering the Era of Food Microbiomics

Sunday, July 26, 2015: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Oregon Ballroom 201 (Oregon Convention Center)
Primary Contact: Gregory Siragusa
Organizer: Gregory Siragusa
Convenor: Jairus David
Are we moving beyond the era of the standard plate count? Cultural microbiology remains the focus of the food microbiologist's tool box.  Its utility cannot be overemphasized. However culture and the plate count technique are known to have two major drawbacks. First, estimates are that only approximately one percent of microorganisms have been cultured and secondly, of those that form colonies on an agar dish, their identity is largely unknown once a quantitative colony count is made. The practical use of the plate count does not include what is perhaps its most important potential offering, the identity of what has grown. The era of conducting food microbiome analysis is here and we are beginning to learn answers to the question of not only how many but also who they are, i.e. identity and relative proportion of the total population.

This symposium will examine this powerful tool by presenting case studies as well as the basic technique itself.  Potential uses and discoveries for the food microbiologist will be a focus of the session using examples of refrigerated meats, smoked fish and cheese microbiomes.


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