Bacillus subtilis is a Common Surface Contaminant on Cured Vanilla beans
Dr. Faith Belanger
New Brunswick, NJ
Bacillus subtilis is a common contaminant of cured Vanilla beans.
Traditional curing of Vanilla beans is carried out under non-sterile conditions, presenting opportunities for microbial contamination. We have examined the surface bacterial contaminants of cured Vanilla beans originating from different geographical locations. Colony counts ranged from 30 to 35,000 per gram of beans. Drier beans had the highest levels of contamination. DNA sequence analysis identified Bacillus subtilis as the contaminating bacterial species.
Dr. Faith Belanger is a faculty member in the Plant Biology and Pathology Department at Rutgers University. She has characterized several new enzymes from Vanilla.