Improve Dairy Life – Prevention of yeast spoilage of fermented dairy products for improved quality and shelf-life

One of the main factors for deterioration in quality and reduced shelf life of fermented dairy products is microbial spoilage. In fermented dairy products, such as skyr and quark, yeast is the main cause of microbial spoilage. In order to be able to produce high quality dairy products with a long shelf life, it is essential to gain an understanding of the factors that enable yeast to grow in the products during storage.

By: Grith Mortensen

The main objectives of the project are to characterize the yeast spoilage consortium with regard to their taxonomic identity, genetic diversity and spoilage capacity as affected by the dairy matrix, starter cultures interactions and storage conditions as well as develop predictive models for yeast growth in fermented dairy products.

All in all, the project results will provide the dairy industry with new tools to prevent the growth of spoilage yeast without the use of expensive bioprotective cultures as well as ensure an extended shelf life of the products.

Project period: January 2020 - December 2022

Budget: 4.889.000 DKK

Financing: Milk Levy Fund, Department of Food Science University of Copenhagen, EU-funds and a Malaysian PhD Scholarship

Project manager: Lene Jespersen 

Institution: Department of Food Science, University of Copenhagen

Participants: Department of Food Science, University of Copenhagen




Geronikou A, Srimahaeak T, Rantsiou K, Triantafillidis G, Larsen N, and Jespersen L. 2020. Occurrence of Yeasts in White-Brined Cheeses: Methodologies for Identification, Spoilage Potential and Good Manufacturing Practices. Frontiers in Microbiology. Volume 11, Article 582778..