Detection of the fluorescing group of Pseudomonas by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the prediction of shelf-life of dairy products

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Virginia Tech

An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using polyclonal antibodies has been developed for the detection of the fluorescing group of Pseudomonas. The assay was used as a rapid test (6h) for predicting the shelf-life of pasteurized fluid milk. Milk samples were held at 7°C and tested weekly until determined to be unacceptable by daily sensory evaluation. Sterile milk samples were inoculated with target concentrations of 0 (control), 100, and 1000 cells/ml of Pseudomonas fluorescens on day 0. Samples were tested before and after preliminary incubations. Preliminary incubations conducted include milk alone and milk with broth (1:1) for 18h at 21°C. ELISA and plate counts were performed before and after preliminary incubation to determine the number of pseudomonads present and the relationship between ELISA and plate counts. These numbers were correlated to the shelf-life of each sample, as determined by sensory evaluation. Samples undergoing a preliminary incubation with only milk gave the best correlation to shelf-life (R=0.86).