Annals of Microbiology

, Volume 69, Issue 9, pp 895–907 | Cite as

Surface properties and exopolysaccharide production of surface-associated microorganisms isolated from a dairy plant

  • Dilay Kütük AyhanEmail author
  • Ayhan Temiz
  • Farzin Asghari Sana
  • Menemşe Gümüşderelioğlu
Original Article



The purpose of this study was to isolate the surface-associated microorganisms from the dairy plant surfaces with a high probability of biofilm formation and determine the most adhesive strains in terms of surface properties and exopolysaccharide production.


Four hundred and ninety-five surface-associated microorganisms were isolated from potential biofilm-forming surfaces of a dairy plant. One hundred and seventy of these were isolated after cleaning/disinfection of the pasteurized milk, white cheese and butter tank, yogurt and ice cream filling unit, ice cream air pressing, and condensed milk pipe. It is noteworthy that some isolates might cause post-production contamination, food infection, and intoxication. Selected 42 isolates were identified by Gram staining, physiological and biochemical tests, and 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Then, surface properties and exopolysaccharide production of 10 selected isolates were determined. To evaluate the surface properties, microbial adhesion to hydrocarbons, static water contact angle, salt aggregation, and surface zeta potential tests were performed.


The microbial adhesion to hydrocarbons (MATH) test exhibited the lowest standard deviations, and the most consistent results between the replicates. The highest hydrophilic characteristics and exopolysaccharide production were exhibited by Gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa, followed by Gram-positive Bacillus toyonensis. Also, a significant diversity of neutral sugar was determined in their alditol acetate forms by using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. In this context, it is believed that the determination of the EPS content of the isolates would contribute to establishing an effective cleaning/disinfection procedure for dairy plants.


This study indicated that microbial adhesion is still a common problem in the dairy industry. Because of this situation, dairy plants should be organized and constructed to be suitable for hygiene and sanitary applications.


Dairy plant Adhesion Identification Surface property Exopolysaccharide production Neutral sugar content 


Funding information

This work was supported by the Hacettepe University Scientific Research Projects Coordination Unit (Project Codes: 014 D01 602 003 and FDK-2016-13096).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Not applicable.


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Copyright information

© Università degli studi di Milano 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Food EngineeringHacettepe UniversityAnkaraTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Nanotechnology & NanomedicineHacettepe UniversityAnkaraTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Chemical EngineeringHacettepe UniversityAnkaraTurkey

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