This is a true story sent to me just a few days ago from a student who took my class in 2017. She has since graduated and is working for a company which makes oil emulsions for other customers to use in mixture with another product. Due to the uniqueness of the student's company product she cannot name it or divulge its makeup. Nor can she name the customer company and how they use the emulsion. She emailed me the following problem. This is all the information I got: A longtime customer has accused my company of recently providing poor product. The emulsion is giving problems for the customer which is surprising since we've been selling the emulsion for years to this customer. I've been assigned to figure out of the problem is our emulsion or if the customer is contaminating our product while using it. The customer mixes their product with our emulsion for use under regular atmospheric conditions. In addition, the customer reuses water in the facility repeatedly without taking in new water supply. Since high levels of bacteria can destabilize the emulsion, I've tested our product using an aerobic bacterial testing kit. The emulsion shows no increase in bacterial content from samples produced this month and from one year back. Additionally the customer's product mixed with our emulsion shows slightly less bacteria from the testing kit. However, I do notice a rotten smell from our can of emulsion that has been made 1 year ago. Is there something I'm missing? And hey, I guess I would have to agree when you said we would be using your class in "the real world".
1) What other category of microbes could my student look for that may explain why the emulsion is going bad? For 4 points name a metabolic category of another type of microbe she could test for that may be the culprit with a valid article to support your findings
2) For 2 points find a test that she could purchase to identify this type of microbe. Name the other microbe she could test for.
She might be facing faculatative anerobe class of bacteria which can grow in less oxygen condition also and can degrade there product.This class of bacteria don't require oxygen all the time for growing they can replicate in less oxygen condition also.
Thioglycollate broth can be use to test the presence of faculatative anerobe.Try to grow bacteria in this broth,aerobic bacteria will grom at the top of tube as the need more oxygen to produce energy and anerobic bacteria will grow down of the tube as they don't require much oxygen for the growth.
This test can tell the presence of other bacteria which are spoling the product of the company.
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