Goat milk powder is a nutritious and easy-to-store product that is highly favored by consumers. However, the presence of contaminating bacteria and their metabolites may significantly affect the flavor, solubility, shelf life, and safety of the product. To comprehensively and accurately understand the sanitary conditions in the goat milk powder production process and potential threats from bacterial contamination, a combination of Pacific Biosciences single molecule real-time sequencing and droplet digital PCR was used to evaluate bacterial contamination in seven goat milk powder samples from three dairies. Ten phyla, 119 genera, and 249 bacterial species were identified. Bacillus, Paenibacillus, Lactococcus, and Cronobacter were the primary genera. Bacillus cereus, Lactococcus lactis, Alkaliphilus oremlandii, and Cronobacter sakazakii were the dominant species. With droplet digital PCR, 6.3 × 104 copies per g of Bacillus cereus and 1.0 × 104 copies per g of Cronobacter spp. were quantified, which may increase the risk of food spoilage and the probability of foodborne illness and should be monitored and controlled. This study offers a new approach for evaluating bacterial contamination in goat milk powder and supplies a reference for the assessment of food safety and control of potential risk, which will be of interest to the dairy industry.
Journal: Journal of food protection