content tagged as Food Microbiology

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Biosensors are emerging as a potentially revolutionary technology in the study and rapid detection of foodborne pathogens, toxins, allergens, contaminants, and indicators of food quality.

Low-moisture foods, such as flour and peanut butter, have made national headlines in the past few years due to foodborne illness outbreaks associated with pathogens in these products.
The production of meat products to address consumer concerns with phosphates and conventional antimicrobials has necessitated a search for alternatives that balance regulatory requirements with FSMA, food safety, and quality, while addressing consumers’ desire for recognizable and short-list labels. An overview of phosphate functions and alternatives, in addition to a discussion on clean-label antimicrobials and the hurdles to successful implementation, will be provided. The latest research and the regulatory status of clean-label ingredients will be shared. Practical applications and realistic expectations will be reviewed in order to improve the chances for success when formulating with clean-label antimicrobial ingredients.

Finally, a roadmap for the use of High Pressure Processing in meat products to address market and consumer demands will be discussed.
The United States is one of the leading producers of quality poultry and is regarded as a global leader in poultry exports. Recent US poultry production estimates indicate an increase in the value of chicken sales and an increase in the value of egg and turkey production. Since July of 2011 new performance standards have been established by the USDA-FSIS in response to national baseline studies that required routine testing for Salmonella and Campylobacter in all poultry-processing plants, where the percentage of Salmonella-positive samples must be below 7.5% and Campylobacter-positive samples should be less than 10.4%. In addition, in response to curbing the phenomenon of antibiotic resistance in animal production, on June 3, 2015, FDA announced the final rule on the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) that established requirements relating to distribution and use of VFD drugs and animal feed containing such drugs. With the federal specifications of implementation of more rigorous pathogen reduction standards, it is necessary for the poultry producers, and the meat and egg processors to employ new/alternative or additional interventions for effective control of Salmonella and Campylobacter throughout the pre- and post-harvest poultry safety continuum. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that poultry producers and products and egg processers are equipped with scientifically validated information to enhance microbial safety, including multidrug resistant bacteria. This session includes an overview of microbial safety and quality of West Virginia locally processed poultry meat followed by an updated research of control strategies on Salmonella/Campylobacter on chicken carcasses, parts, and eggs. In addition, alternative strategies that have the potential against multidrug resistant bacteria in poultry will be presented. Following that, the role of antibiotics on poultry egg microbial safety will be discussed. Finally, an industry scale in-plant validation study of antimicrobial application in various poultry processes will conclude the session. The invited speakers will represent expertise from the food industry, government research institutions, and academia.
Nanotechnology focused in reducing microbial growth has made massive strides in 2016 in connecting with packaging. While the field of antimicrobial packaging research is flooded with the assessment of food grade ingredients, many with known off-flavor/odors, that offer little efficacy, sophisticated research and development in nanotechnology is moving forward pragmatically to decrease microbial growth. In fiscal year 2016, US funding for nanotechnology across 20 federal agencies will be $1.5 billion (NNI, 2016) and the USDA has specifically funded $5.2 million to 11 universities. EU funding in the Horizon 2020 program is connecting research to market in the nanotechnology field is strong. Worldwide investment in nanotechnology is projected at $10 billion annually.

For food that is packaged, waste, in part due to microbial growth from retailer to consumer consumption, is 30%. This represents a dollar loss to consumers as well as the loss of resources used to produce the food.

Blending the need to reduce microbial derived food waste with advances in antimicrobial nanotechnology has much promise. Nanotechnology applied as an antimicrobial has the potential to reduce food waste from farm to retailer as well as from retailer to consumer and thus addresses reducing food waste in the entire value chain.

Speakers will cover the science of developing nanotechnology with antimicrobial properties within packaging materials, nano-enabled microbial detection, and release mechanisms of engineered nanomaterials (ENM) to be effective as antimicrobials, and their industrial applications.
Survival of bacterial spores, particularly Clostridium botulinum, in low acid shelf stable and refrigerated foods poses a food safety risk during storage and distribution of the products. Nonthermal processing technologies including high-pressure processing and other combined technologies have the potential of inactivating bacterial spores at reduced thermal requirements, achieving food safety without compromising the sensory and nutritional quality of the products. In a typical high-pressure process, the food material is vacuum packaged and subjected to pressure treatment (600 MPa at ambient or chilled conditions for 3-5 min). Meat, seafood, vegetable and fruit juices, sauces, and salads are examples of products available in the market today. Pressure pasteurized products are distributed under refrigerated conditions and have a shelf life of six to eight weeks. While pressure treatment is effective in reducing more than 5-logs of variety of vegetative pathogens, high-pressure treatment alone is not sufficient to inactivate spores of harmful pathogens such as Clostridium botulinum. Careful attention must be paid to maintaining refrigerated temperature conditions when handling and distributing pressure pasteurized low-acid foods. Speakers discuss potential microbial risks associated with survival of Clostridium spores in pressure pasteurized low-acid foods. Spore physiology during germination and inactivation by pressure will be presented. Food processing, ingredient, and storage factors that can help mitigate the botulinum risk will be discussed. Novel processing-based approaches for preserving extended shelf life or ambient stable low-acid foods will be discussed.
New requirements for the food industry and new authorities to enforce these requirements: the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law in 2011, affects every entity that produce, import, distribute, manufacture, and transport of food, not only for the US food industry members but also for foreign suppliers. This roundtable is a collection of testimonials from academia, industry, and the consumer’s perspective. All parties will offer their experience and they will illustrate and report how this complex regulation has impacted their daily professional life.

Dr. Fadi Aramouni from Kansas State University will give an overview of training and engaging activities for small and medium size processors organized by the Food Science Institute at KSU. Dr. Peyman Fatemi will offer the industrial perspective on how the preventative controls for human food rule has really changed the game of prevention of hazards, and finally, Dr. Melinda Hayman will report the stakeholder perspective and commitment to FSMA rules for produce safety, foreign supplier verification, and third-party accreditation.
Microbial models have been increasingly used by professionals in the food industry, research institutes, and regulatory agencies for a wide range of purposes such as product and process development, shelf-life prediction, setting performance standards, evaluating regulatory compliance and microbial risk assessment. This workshop will introduce the principles of predictive microbiology and demonstrate how to develop models and the use of models for real-world applications. This workshop will also demonstrate how to use the USDA Integrate Pathogen Modeling Program (IPMP) for model development. The USDA IPMP is an easy-to-use, user-friendly software tool that allows anyone, without the knowledge of computer programming and statistics, to efficiently develop predictive models. Examples will be used to demonstrate the step-by-step procedure in model development. This workshop will also demonstrate a new one-step methodology for developing more accurate predictive models. In this workshop, audiences will learn the essence of predictive microbiology and the applications of an advanced data analysis tool for developing microbial models and become proficient in developing and using predictive models for their applications.
In support of recent EFSA color re-evaluations and forthcoming JECFA re-evaluations, IACM's Synthetic Color Committee has sponsored a number of studies in support of the safety of synthetic colors consistent with its objectives to protect and expand the worldwide use of synthetic colors, and to review and assess existing safety information on synthetic colors and conduct scientifically robust studies to ensure their safety when necessary. The studies include four genotoxicity studies on Indigo Carmine (FD&C Blue 2); Allura Red (FD&C Red 40); Tartrazine (FD&C Yellow 5); and Ponceau 4R and one short term reproductive study on Sunset Yellow (FD&C Yellow 6). IACM also contracted with Exponent to conduct an exposure assessment for FD&C colors using actual use level data from IACM members to provide further information to the March 2011 recommendation by the FDA Food Advisory Committee. IACM's Scientific Director Dr. Bastaki will present the genotoxicity study findings for Allura Red and Tartrazine, which have just been published, and preview the remaining, while Dr. George Pugh of the Coca-Cola Company will present the current landscape of synthetic colors and Carolyn Scrafford of Exponent will provide details of how the exposure assessment was conducted and how it compares to other recent assessments conducted by FDA and academics.
Recently the application of cold plasma has attracted significant interest as an emerging low-temperature process for the inactivation of microorganisms in the food and medical industries. Cold plasma is defined as when a partially ionized gas containing different components like free electrons, photons, radicals, and excited as well as metastable atoms or molecules, whereby the different generated components and their synergistic combination are responsible for the inactivation of microorganisms. Cold plasma can be generated using different sources and process gases which influence the composition of the generated plasma. Due to different ways of generating and applying (direct or indirect methods) cold plasma on a surface, the mechanisms leading to the microbial inactivation can be completely different. Furthermore, the surface the microorganisms are attached to can also influences the inactivation process. Spores of the class Bacilli or Clostridia are extremely resistant towards multiple environmental stress conditions, heat, radiation, and various toxic chemicals. Consequently, bacterial spores are perfectly adapted to survive on surfaces like food products and medical devices, thus being major vector of food spoilage, foodborne illness, and serious human diseases.

The proposed symposium will focus on the different mechanisms involved of microorganism’s inactivation by cold plasma, especially on the inactivation of Bacillus spores. US and international speakers will share their knowledge and research advancements. Speakers will discuss the effect of different surfaces concerning the inactivation of spores during cold plasma treatment as well as the role of the different generated plasma components depending on the gas used on the inactivation process. Spores’ properties responsible for the resistance to cold plasma will be pointed out. Changes in spore properties and the germination behavior following cold plasma treatment will be considered using single-spore methods. With respect to potential cold plasma applications in future, the regulatory status of cold plasma technology in the US food industry will be discussed.