Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Department name when degree awarded

Nutrition and Food Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Bart C. Weimer


Bart C. Weimer


Marie Walsh


Don McMahon




Anne Anderson


Psychotrophic bacteria produce heat-stable lipase, protease, and phospholipase. Pervious studies indicate the production of multiple enzymes in several strains of Pseudomonas fluorescens, but conclusive evidence is lacking.

The influence of culture conditions on the production and thermostability of phospholipase, protease, and lipase was investigated in 17 raw milk and environmental isolates. Production and thermostability of the enzymes were influenced by strain, stage of growth, and the culture medium. Cross-reactivity of antibodies raised to a purified protease and a commercial lipase indicated the immunological diversity of the enzymes.

Protease purification was undertaken to investigate the production of multiple proteases within a single strain. A single monomeric protease with a molecular weight of 52 kDa was purified from P. fluorescens RO98. Biochemical characterization of the enzyme revealed that it was a zinc-metallo acidprotease with pH and temperature optima of 5.0 35°C, respectively. The enzyme was thermostable with a D55 of 41 min and a D62.5 of 18 h.

Although sensitive assays exist for proteases, they are not suitable for detection of protease activity in milk in the presence of milk proteins. Existing immunoassays approach the required sensitivity but take about 6 h and cannot distinguish between active and inactive enzyme. An immunoassay that can be completed within 2 h and that can detect and distinguish both total and active enzyme was explored. The ratio of these two forms gives insight into the history of the milk.

The ability of the purified protease to hydrolyze hydrophobic peptides associated with bitterness in Cheddar cheese was also investigated. Results demonstrated that the protease had the potential to debitter Cheddar cheese because it was able to hydrolyze the bitter peptides commonly found during aging.

Two lipolytic enzymes with molecular weights of 50 (Pf-lip1) and 12 kDa (Pf-lip2) were purified from P. fluorescens RO98. Differences were observed in their biochemical properties. D62.5-values of 12.7 and 29.9 h were determined for Pf-lip1 and Pf-lip2, respectively. Pf-lip1 preferred longer chain length fatty acids, and Pf-lip2 preferred shorter chain length substrates. Pf-lip1 hydrolyzed milk fat and emulsified triolein, but Pf-lip2 did not, indicating that the latter was an esterase. This information is of significance to the dairy industry because activity tests that assay both the lipolytic enzymes need to be used in order to direct raw milk to short shelf-life products during processing and ensure quality of long shelf-life products



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