Blog icon

Food spoilage and identification services for the food industry

We provide microbial identification expertise, particularly in fungi, to support solutions in food contamination and spoilage. We work with all sectors of the Australian industry. Our expertise includes:

iStock - Anna Gavrylova

  • diagnosis of spoilage problems involving bacteria, yeasts and moulds including thermophilic and other acid tolerant bacteria, heat resistant moulds and preservative-resistant yeasts 
  • identification of moulds, yeasts and bacteria from foods and related substrates
  • identification of Penicillium, Fusarium, Aspergillus and related genera from foods and related sources
  • isolation and identification of xerophilic fungi
  • DNA sequencing of moulds, yeasts and bacteria
  • microbiological challenge testing.

How we've helped the food industry

Our expertise in applied food microbiology is routinely utilised by a range of food and beverage manufacturers, including SMEs, to help understand the underlying factors that result in microorganisms persisting and growing in/spoiling products. We provide support by undertaking microbial challenge studies, factory/processing assessments, or more general food safety/spoilage assessments. Our services also extend to providing training and expert recommendations to assist businesses in overcoming problems. Some examples of success stories include:

  • Challenge testing of bio-protective culture efficacy in preventing spoilage in yoghurt: working with a global yoghurt company and ingredient supplier, we showed that a bio-protective culture did not prevent the growth of spoilage yeasts Yarrowia lipolytica and Saccharomyces cerevisiae under conditions designed to model the yogurt product cycle.
  • Mitigating heat resistant mould (HRM) spoilage in dairy products: by investigating the potential contributing factors for spoilage, i.e. raw materials, processing factors, potential for post-process contamination, we were able to provide recommendations that would eliminate HRM’s without compromising product quality.
  • Designing and testing the efficacy of novel wash regimes for controlling Fusarium banana wilt: we assisted the Australian banana industry to better understand the risk and control of Fusarium banana wilt, examining its control and prevention of spread, particularly during transportation and crate cleaning. Through validation studies we demonstrated the shortcomings of current practices and processes whilst highlighting the effectiveness of novel wash regimes for inactivating Fusarium, both in laboratory and factory settings. 

Our food research culture collection of fungal strains of importance to the food industry

Officially known as the FRR culture collection, this is a substantial and significant collection holding approximately 6000 yeasts and moulds, most of which are listed in the collection's catalogue.

The collection specialises in Penicillium and Aspergillus species and their related teleomorphs, Eupenicillium, Talaromyces, Eurotium and Neosartorya. It also contains perhaps the most comprehensive collection of xerophilic fungi in the world, since these are of particular importance in the spoilage of processed foods and stored food commodities.

Supply of fungal cultures from the food research culture collection

We supply cultures from the collection to food companies and researchers for taxonomy, physiology, challenge testing, mycotoxin studies and other purposes.

Donating fungal cultures to the food research culture collection

We welcome deposits of relevant cultures to the collection, particularly where these are derived from Australian sources or within the Asian Pacific region. We are especially interested in strains of new species, extype cultures, strains with defined industrial and physiological properties, and unusual strains from foods, particularly low water activity foods.

How to search the collection and order fungal cultures

To search the collection and order fungal cultures, visit the food research culture collection shop:

Welcome to CSIRO's food innovation centre

Welcome to CSIRO's food innovation centre

[Music plays and CSIRO logo and text appears: Welcome to CSIRO’s food innovation centre]

[Images flash through of people selecting food from fridges and shelves in a supermarket]

Narrator: Consumer demand for healthy, convenient, new and safe food products is rising and market growth in the Asian region is booming.

More than ever manufacturing innovation is critical for the Australian food industry to capture these opportunities and be globally competitive.

[Image changes to show the outside of the CSIRO Food Innovation Centre Melbourne and then image changes to show employees looking at food samples of cheese and then the camera zooms in on a sample of cheese]

At our Food Innovation Centre we work with the food and beverage manufacturing industry to meet these opportunities and add value to their business.

[Images flash through of an employee looking at a sample, operating a computer, the computer screen, a heat shrink bag, a tube being filled with white liquid, an employee looking at a computer screen, the computer screen display, an employee filling a tube with bottles of juice and placing the tube inside a machine, a computer screen display and an employee emptying the tube]

We help companies innovate by creating next generation value added food products and ingredients, improving operating efficiencies, licensing ready to go technologies, making industry connections and adopting and developing new technologies and applications for safer, fresher, healthier and sustainably produced foods and more.

[Image changes to show an employee climbing up some stairs carrying a bag of maize polenta and then the camera shows employees watching a machine in use and then the camera zooms in on their faces]

In the last few years we’ve helped our clients create hundreds of millions of dollars in new food product and ingredient sales locally and in export markets.

[Image changes to show an employee operating the touch screen on a machine and then the image changes to show a machine with lots of tubes and the camera pans up the machine to the top]

This includes more than 25 new products in the retail market nationally.

[Image changes to show an employee operating a machine and then images flash through of different manufacturing machinery]

Companies are invited to use our manufacturing equipment to develop and launch new products into the market or collaborate with us strategically on breakthrough technologies.

[Image changes to show an outside view of the CSIRO facility in Brisbane and text appears: Brisbane]

[Image changes to show employees working with packaged meat and then the camera zooms in on a female writing on a clipboard, employees inspecting the meat, employees cutting a sample from the meat and an employee putting meat inside a machine]

Through our facilities in Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney we have the most significant and extensive food innovation expertise available in Australia.

[Images flash through of an employee operating a machine]

Our pilot plants are unique facilities with a mix of conventional and emerging technologies supported by world class science.

[Image changes to show three female employees walking down a corridor and text appears: Sydney]

[Images flash through of an employee pouring juice, trying a sample, a computer screen display and a female employee operating machinery]

Our expertise in sensory, flavour, consumer science and food choices is unique helping companies develop new or redefine their existing products.  We help industry manage their food safety and product shelf life and meet food safety regulations in export markets.

[Image changes to show three employees inspecting a dough sample and then the camera zooms in on an employee pulling a sample from the dough and tasting it]

We’re also helping Australian food companies meet the rapidly growing demand in Asia for high value products.

[Image changes to show an employee operating a computer with two display screens and then the camera zooms in on one of the screen displays]

Our researchers help companies reformulate to reduce salt, sugar and fat and develop fortified products with functional health benefits while still meeting the taste preferences of consumers.

[Image changes to show an outside view of the CSIRO in Adelaide and then the image changes to show a male walking through the door and speaking to the receptionist and then the camera zooms in on the paper he is writing on]

We also work with manufacturers to substantiate food and ingredient health claims with expertise in lab scale analysis through to human nutrition trials.

[Images flash through of two people at computers, a person lying down, a computer screen display, a female pouring liquid and a female operating a computer and then the camera zooms in on the liquid being poured and the female operating the computer screen]

Whether you’re a small company with a novel idea or a large one looking to outsource key R and D services companies benefit every day from partnering with CSIRO.

[Camera zooms in on the computer screen and then the camera zooms in on the female employee]

It all starts with a conversation.

[Image changes and CSIRO logo and text appears: Big ideas start here,]

Find out how CSIRO's food innovation centre helps food and ingredient manufacturers

Share & embed this video



Embed code

<iframe src="//" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; fullscreen" allowfullscreen></iframe>


Do business with us to help your organisation thrive

We partner with small and large companies, government and industry in Australia and around the world.

Contact us now to start doing business

Contact us

Find out how we can help you and your business. Get in touch using the form below and our experts will get in contact soon!

CSIRO will handle your personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and our Privacy Policy.

First name must be filled in

Surname must be filled in

I am representing *

Please choose an option

Please provide a subject for the enquriy

0 / 100

We'll need to know what you want to contact us about so we can give you an answer

0 / 1900

You shouldn't be able to see this field. Please try again and leave the field blank.