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Analysis of Dynamics and Diversity of Microbial Community during Production of Germinated Brown Rice

Published: 9 February 2023
 by  MDPI
 in Foods

Abstract: Sprouts may be contaminated with different pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms, which lead far too easily to foodborne outbreaks. The elucidations of microbial profiles in germinated brown rice (BR) are important, but the changes in the microbial composition during germination are unknown. This study aimed to investigate the microbiota composition and to monitor the dominant microbial dynamics in BR during germination using both culture-independent and -dependent methods. BR samples (HLJ2 and HN) were collected from each stage of the germination processing. The populations of microbes (total viable counts, yeast/mold counts, Bacillus cereus, and Enterobacteriaceae) of two BR cultivars increased markedly with the prolongation of the germination time. High-throughput sequencing (HTS) showed that the germination process significantly influenced the microbial composition and reduced the microbial diversity. Similar microbial communities were observed between the HLJ2 and the HN samples, but with different microbial richness. The bacterial and fungal alpha diversity achieved the maximum for ungerminated samples and declined significantly after soaking and germination. During germination, Pantoea, Bacillus, and Cronobacter were the dominant bacterial genera, but Aspergillus, Rhizopus, and Coniothyrium dominated for the fungi in the BR samples. The predominance of harmful and spoilage microorganisms in BR during germination is mainly from contaminated seeds, which highlights the potential risk of foodborne illness from sprouted BR products. The results provide new insight into the microbiome dynamics of BR and may help to establish effective decontamination measures against pathogenic microorganisms during sprout production.
Keywords: brown rice / sprout process / microbiome / high-throughput sequencing / pathogens

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