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Trends in Food Science & Technology
22, No. 7, 2011; Pages: 367 - 376

qPCR as a powerful tool for microbial food spoilage quantification: Significance for food quality

Noelia Martínez, Maria Cruz Martín, Ana Herrero, María Fernández, Miguel A. Alvarez, Victor Ladero

Instituto de Productos Lácteos de Asturias, (IPLA-CSIC), 33300 Villaviciosa, Asturias, Spain.


The use of real time quantitative PCR (qPCR) has recently been extended to food science. The literature has mainly focused on its use in ensuring food safety. However, it offers a number of advantages with respect to the quantification of non-pathogenic food spoilage microorganisms. Indeed, qPCR may have a promising future in improving the quality of food products. The present review examines the use of qPCR in this area, the basis of the technique, the requirements that must be met for optimal qPCR assays to be performed, and the advantages it offers over other techniques.

Fig. 1. Comparison of conventional microbiological and qPCR methods for the quantification of eight spoilage microorganism in 10 food samples. The approximate time (six days vs. two days) and materials required (320 plates vs. 1 qPCR plate) for each type of analysis are indicated.




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