How Temperature and Stirring Affect Bacterial Growth in Raw Cow Milk

Jenn Hoskins
9th July, 2024

How Temperature and Stirring Affect Bacterial Growth in Raw Cow Milk

Image Source: Federica Flessati (photographer)

Key Findings

  • The study was conducted in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and examined raw cow milk from eight dairy farms
  • Higher temperatures (30°C) significantly increased biofilm formation by pathogenic bacteria in raw milk
  • Increased agitation during transport also promoted biofilm formation, especially at higher temperatures
Raw cow milk (RCM) consumption has been a topic of increasing interest due to its purported health benefits, despite scientific evidence highlighting the associated risks. Numerous studies have documented outbreaks of milkborne diseases linked to raw milk consumption, emphasizing the need for stringent safety measures[2]. A recent study conducted by researchers at Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University sought to investigate the effect of agitation and temperature on biofilm formation by pathogenic bacteria isolated from RCM[1]. Biofilms are clusters of microorganisms that stick to surfaces and produce a protective matrix. This study is significant because biofilms can harbor harmful bacteria, making them more resistant to cleaning and disinfection processes. By understanding how agitation and temperature affect biofilm formation, we can develop better strategies to mitigate the risks associated with raw milk consumption. The researchers isolated pathogenic bacteria from RCM and subjected them to different conditions of agitation and temperature to observe biofilm formation. The study found that both agitation and temperature significantly influenced the development of biofilms. Higher temperatures and increased agitation generally promoted biofilm formation, which could potentially increase the risk of contamination in raw milk. This study aligns with previous research showing that raw milk can be a breeding ground for various pathogens, including Escherichia coli and Salmonella, which are significant concerns in dairy products[3]. In particular, a study on the survival and growth of E. coli and Salmonella in fermented milk products indicated that certain cultures could inhibit these pathogens, suggesting that specific microbial interactions could be leveraged to improve safety[4]. The findings from the Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University study provide valuable insights into how environmental factors like temperature and agitation can impact biofilm formation in raw milk. This is crucial for developing effective pre- and postharvest control measures to reduce contamination and enhance the safety of raw milk products[2]. In conclusion, understanding the conditions that promote biofilm formation can help in designing better strategies for raw milk safety. This study contributes to the growing body of knowledge aimed at mitigating the risks associated with raw milk consumption, thereby supporting public health initiatives and regulatory frameworks.

HealthBiotechAnimal Science


Main Study

1) Evaluating the effects of temperature and agitation on biofilm formation of bacterial pathogens isolated from raw cow milk

Published 8th July, 2024

Related Studies

2) Food safety hazards associated with consumption of raw milk.

3) Overview of Food Safety Hazards in the European Dairy Supply Chain.

4) Antimicrobial properties of lactic acid bacteria and yeast-LAB cultures isolated from traditional fermented milk against pathogenic Escherichia coli and Salmonella enteritidis strains.

Journal: International journal of food microbiology, Issue: Vol 108, Issue 1, Apr 2006

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