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David Flossdorf

David Flossdorf staff profile picture

School of Food and Advanced Technology
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Analysis of dairy cattle feed as source of heat resistant bacterial spores in milk and evaluation of contamination consequences for milk quality.

Research Description
My project is examining the microbiome of milk and cow feeds determine the role of cow feed in affecting the bacteria that may damage milk. A special focus for this study is spore forming bacteria which can survive pasteurization and lead to milk spoilage. This can result in food wastage which will hopefully be limited following the results of my research. I will also investigate the milk spoiling bacteria that I find, for their milk damaging potential by determining their ability to: - Produce milk spoiling enzymes - Build biofilms - Produce spores - Survive high temperatures Farm management in New Zealand has been through a lot of changes in the two decades and differs from the farm management in other big milk producing country's (mostly pasture based / larger herds / no bedding). None of the investigations on the microbiome of cattle feed have used modern molecular biology techniques, to examine the milk and cow feed microbiomes. This is a particular focus for this research.

Research Importance
The goal of my study is to avoid food wastage which is important to everyone, but especially the milk industry. From the small farmer who doesn't want to see the milk he worked hard for go to waste, to the big company which dosen't like loosing profit.

Personal Description
I obtained my Master degree in Microbiology and Biotechnology from the Heinrich Heine University in Germany, where I completed my master thesis in cooperation with the Henkel company, about developing novel detection methods for biofilms. After that, I decided to travel the world a bit and came for a stop in New Zealand to do an Internship at Massey. We found good funding to extend that Internship into a full PhD which I am happy to pursue today.

Professor Steve Flint
Dr Jon Palmer
Mr Paul Jamieson