IIR document

Stress responses of microorganisms to low temperatures.

Author(s) : ABEE T., ROMBOUTS F. M.


Both natural and manmade environments have been colonized by cold-adapted microorganisms which not only survive in cold but are able to grow at low temperatures, near 0 deg C. The term psychrotrophic is used for cold-tolerant organisms, the maximum temperature for their growth being above 20 deg C. Psychrotrophic microorganisms, are common in foods and can develop at low temperature. The increased use of frozen, and especially chilled (convenience) foods in recent years and the sometimes increasingly long time between production and consumption greatly increased the importance of psychrotrophic bacteria in the food industries. Various studies have been conducted predominantly in mesophilic bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis. Adaptations necessary for low-temperature growth involve changes in membrane fluidity, regulation of protein synthesis and production of cold shock proteins. Implications for cold storage of foods are discussed.

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Pages: 349-358

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  • Original title: Stress responses of microorganisms to low temperatures.
  • Record ID : 1996-0927
  • Languages: English
  • Source: For a Better Quality of Life. 19th International Congress of Refrigeration.
  • Publication date: 1995/08/20
  • Document available for consultation in the library of the IIR headquarters only.


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