The Extracellular Protease AprX from Pseudomonas and its Spoilage Potential for UHT Milk: A Review

Zhang, Chunyue; Bijl, Etske; Svensson, Birgitta; Hettinga, Kasper


The negative effects of proteases produced by psychrotrophic bacteria on dairy products, especially ultra-high-temperature (UHT) milk, are drawing increasing attention worldwide. These proteases are especially problematic, because it is difficult to control psychrotrophic bacteria during cold storage and to inactivate their heat-resistant proteases during dairy processing. The predominant psychrotrophic species with spoilage potential in raw milk, Pseudomonas, can produce a thermostable extracellular protease, AprX. A comprehensive understanding of AprX on the aspects of its biological properties, regulation, proteolytic potential, and its impact on UHT milk can contribute to finding effective approaches to minimize, detect, and inactivate AprX. AprX also deserves attention as a representative of all extracellular metalloproteases produced by psychrotrophic bacteria in milk. The progress of current research on AprX is summarized in this review, including a view on the gap in current understanding of this enzyme. Reducing the production and activity of AprX has considerable potential for alleviating the problems that arise from the instability of UHT milk during shelf-life.