Microbial Changes in Sweet Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) Juices


Juice freshly expressed from Sorghum bicolor for making sweet sorghum syrup contained 108 microorganisms per ml. The dominant bacterium was Leuconostoc mesenteroides, followed by gram-negative rods. Lactobacilli, yeasts, and nonfecal coliform bacteria each comprised about 1% of the microbial population. Spoilage of juice, manifested by a sour odor, discoloration, and foaming, occurred between 5 and 12 h at ambient temperatures. Spoilage was correlated with a drop in pH from 4.9 to 4.5 L. mesenteroides was the dominant spoiling agent at 20°C, and Lactobacillus plantarum was the dominant spoiling agent at 32°C, as determined by pure culture studies. Juice may be stored for 14 days at 4°C if promptly refrigerated.

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