Improve Dairy Life - Prevention of yeast spoilage of fermented dairy products for improved quality and shelf-life

The project “Improve Dairy Life”  aims to provide the dairy industry with new knowledge and tools for controlling contaminating yeasts to prevent spoilage and ensure extended shelf-life of fermented dairy products and, consequently, to reduce waste and economic losses in the dairy production. 

Microbial spoilage is one of the main factors causing considerable quality loss and shelf-life reduction of the dairy products. Among microbial spoilers, yeasts predominate in fermented dairy products, such as white-brined cheeses and skyr.

The main objectives of the project are to characterize the yeast spoilage consortium with regard to their taxonomic identity, genetic diversity and spoilage capacity as affected by the dairy matrix, starter cultures interactions and storage conditions, as well as to develop predictive models for yeast growth in fermented dairy products. As an outcome of the project, the dairies will be provided with new knowledge to prevent yeast spoilage and extent the shelf-life of fermented dairy products without the use of costly bio-protective cultures.


  • Occurrence of yeast contaminants throughout dairy production

  • Taxonomic identification of spoilage yeasts

  • Growth and succession of yeasts in dairy products during cold storage

  • Production of off-flavours, aroma compounds and other metabolites related to spoilage

  • Proteolytic activity of yeasts in fermented milk products

  • Microbial interactions in dairy products

  • Predictive modeling of yeast spoilage




Name Title Phone E-mail
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Lene Jespersen Professor +4535333230 E-mail
Mikael Agerlin Petersen Associate Professor +4535333243 E-mail
Nadja Larsen Academic Research Staff +4535333235 E-mail

Funded by:

Picture of logoPicture of logoImprove Dairy Life has received a two year funding from the Danish Dairy Research Foundation and Mælkeafgiftsfonden.

Project: Improve Dairy Life
Period:  January 2020 - December 2022
Project budget: DKK 4,890,000