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1. (WO2018224561) METHOD FOR DETECTING FOOD SPOILAGE MICROBES
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A method for detecting a food spoilage microbe in a food sample comprising:

a) adding a first pH adjustment agent to a food sample to provide a food sample having a pH in the range of pH 1 to 5, separating any solid precipitate present in the pH adjusted food sample to provide a pH adjusted food sample ,

adding a second pH adjustment agent to the pH adjusted food sample to provide a food sample having a pH in the range of pH 6.5-9 to be used in step b).

b) contacting a food sample with a peptide substrate, wherein the peptide substrate comprises a peptide comprising a fluorescent agent having an emission wavelength of 650- 900 nm, a non-fluorescent agent having an absorption wavelength of 650-900 nm, for quenching said emission of said fluorescent agent, and a cleavage site located between said fluorescent agent and first non-fluorescent agent, the cleavage site cleavable by a protease specifically provided by a food spoilage microbe belonging to a first group consisting of a limited number of microbial strains, species or genera, and not cleaved by any compound provided by any microbe not belonging to said first group of food spoilage microbes, c) monitoring the fluorescence of the sample containing the peptide substrate in step b), wherein an increase in fluorescence is indicative for the presence of a food spoilage microbe belonging to said first group.

2. The method according to claim 1 , wherein the first pH adjustment agent is selected from the group consisting of hydrochloric acid, acetic acid, trichloroacetic acid and citric acid.

3. The method according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the second pH adjustment agent is selected from the group consisting of sodium hydroxide, sodium acetate, tris buffer and phosphate buffer.

4. The method according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the food sample is selected from the group consisting of dairy products, fruit based beverages, soft drinks, beer and wine.

5. The method according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the dairy product is yoghurt, cheese, butter, curds, cream or milk, preferably milk.

6. The method according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the cleavage site is cleaved by a protease provided by bacteria from the genera Pseudomonas, Alicyclobacillus, Bacillus, Clostridium, Corynebacterium, Arthrobacter, Lactobacillus, Listeria, Microbacterium, Micrococcus, and Streptococcus.

7. The method according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the peptide comprises a cleavage site selected from the group consisting of AAAFALAC (SEQ ID NO: 1 ), AAFAALAC (SEQ ID NO: 2), AAAAFLAC (SEQ ID NO: 3), FAAAALAC (SEQ ID NO: 4), FAAFALAC (SEQ ID NO: 5).

8. The method according to any one of claims 1-7, wherein the cleavage site is cleaved by a protease provided by bacteria from the genera Bacillus and wherein the peptide comprises a cleavage site AAAFALAC (SEQ ID NO: 1 ).

9. The method according to any one of claims 1-6, wherein the first cleavage site is cleaved by a protease provided by Listeria monocytogenes and the peptide comprises a cleavage site selected from the group consisting of AANAKTNC (SEQ ID NO: 6), AANKVTNC (SEQ

ID NO: 7), ALNKVTNC (SEQ ID NO: 8), ALNAKTNC (SEQ ID NO: 9).

10. The method according to any one of the preceding claims wherein said fluorescent agent is a cyanine dye having an emission wavelength of 650-900 nm and wherein the non- fluorescent agent is a cyanine dye having an absorption wavelength of 650-900 nm.

1 1. The method according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the method does not comprise a step of enriching the microbe population.

12. A kit for the detection of food spoilage microorganisms comprising:

a) a tube containing a peptide substrate comprising a a fluorescent agent having an emission wavelength of 650-900 nm, a non-fluorescent agent having an absorption wavelength of 650-900 nm, for quenching said emission of said fluorescent agent, and a cleavage site located between said fluorescent agent and said non-fluorescent agent, the cleavage site cleavable by a protease specifically provided by a food spoilage microbe belonging to a first group consisting of a limited number of microbial strains, species or genera of a food spoilage microbes, and not cleaved by any compound provided by any microbe not belonging to said first group of a food spoilage microbes, preferably wherein the cleavage site is cleaved by a protease provided by bacteria from the genera Pseudomonas, Alicyclobacillus, Bacillus, Clostridium, Corynebacterium, Arthrobacter, Lactobacillus, Listeria, Microbacterium, Micrococcus, and Streptococcus.

b) a tube comprising the a pH adjustment agent preferably selected from the group consisting of hydrochloric acid, acetic acid, trichloroacetic acid and citric acid,

c) a tube comprising a second pH adjustment agent preferably selected from the group consisting of sodium hydroxide, sodium acetate, tris buffer and phosphate buffer.

13. Kit according to claim 12, comprising a device for monitoring fluorescence, wherein said device is adapted to receive a tube containing a food sample and the peptide substrate.

14. Kit according to claim 12 or 13, wherein the peptide comprises a cleavage site selected from the group consisting of AAAFALAC (SEQ ID NO: 1 ), AAFAALAC (SEQ ID NO: 2),

AAAAFLAC (SEQ ID NO: 3), FAAAALAC (SEQ ID NO: 4), FAAFALAC (SEQ ID NO: 5), AANAKTNC (SEQ ID NO: 6), AANKVTNC (SEQ ID NO: 7), ALNKVTNC (SEQ ID NO: 8), ALNAKTNC (SEQ ID NO: 9).

Kit according to any of claims 12-14, wherein said fluorescent agent is a cyanine dye having an emission wavelength of 650-900 nm and wherein the non-fluorescent agent is a cyanine dye having an absorption wavelength of 650-900 nm.