Fermentation is used throughout the food and beverage industries to produce bread, cheese, yogurt, wine, and beer, as well as a wide range of food ingredients, from citric acid to monosodium glutamate.

In these fermentations, it is crucial to have only the correct microbes, since contamination is extremely costly and potentially dangerous. In addition, since the microorganisms used for these processes are often valuable and proprietary to the companies that use them, it has become increasingly im…

Fig. 1—Researcher loads polymerase-chain-reaction products obtained by the AFLP technique onto a polyacrylamide gel for separation by fragment length, generating a bar code identifying microorganisms of interest.

Fig. 2—Schematic illustration of the AFLP technique.

Fig. 3—AFLP analysis of 23 bacterial strains involved in manufacturing of a dairy product. Very distinct differences (mutations) characteristic for a particular strain can be detected.

Table 1—Comparison of DNA fingerprinting techniques

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