Cold plasma treatment is a promising intervention in food processing to boost product safety and extend shelf life. The activated chemical species of cold plasma can act rapidly against microorganisms at ambient temperatures without leaving any known chemical residues. This review presents an overview of the action of cold plasma against molds and mycotoxins, the underlying mechanisms, and applications for ensuring food safety and quality. The cold plasma species act on multiple sites of a fungal cell resulting in loss of function and structure, and ultimately cell death. Likewise, the species cause chemical breakdown of mycotoxins through various pathways resulting in degradation products that are known to be less toxic. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, Volume 18, Issue 1, January 2019, Pages 106-120. Read full journal here.
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Microwave Processing—Current Background and Effects on the Physicochemical and Microbiological Aspects of Dairy Products
Overheating is still a major problem in the use of conventional heating for milk and various dairy products because it leads to the lowering of quality and sensory and nutritional values. Microwave (MW) heating has been credited with providing superior‐quality dairy‐based products with extended shelf life, representing a good alternative to conventional heat treatment. The main drawback of MW heating refers to nonuniform temperature distribution, resulting in hot and cold spots mainly in solid and semisolid products; however, MW heating has been shown to be suitable for liquid foods, especially in a continuous fluid system. This review describes the main factors and parameters necessary for MW heating technology in dairy processing, considering the theoretical fundamentals and its effects on quality and safety aspects. MW heating has demonstrated the ability to destruct pathogenic/spoilage microorganisms and their spores, and also inactivate enzymes, thereby preserving fresh characteristics of dairy products. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, Volume 18, Issue 1, January 2019, Pages 67-83. Read full journal article here.
Foliar application of biostimulants (including resistance inducers or elicitors) in the vineyard has become a strategy to prevent plant diseases and improve grape quality on the grapevine. This also represents a partial alternative to soil fertilization, avoiding some of the negative effects to the environment from leaching of nutrients into the groundwater. The foliar applications that most promote the synthesis of secondary metabolites in grape berries are treatments with nitrogen, elicitors, other biostimulants, and waste from the agricultural industry. However, the impact of their use in the vineyard depends on a number of conditions, including mainly the type of compound, application rate, timing and number of applications, and cultivar. This article summarizes the influence of biostimulants as foliar applications to grapevines on grape amino acids and their phenolic and volatile concentrations to define the most important factors in their effectiveness. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, Volume 99, Issue 3, February 2019, Pages 1001-1009. Read full journal article here.
Olive oil, a functional food, is increasingly produced from trees irrigated with water containing high concentrations of salts. This review studies the effects of irrigation‐induced salinity on quality and health‐related compounds in olive oil. Trees were grown in lysimeters with continuous control and monitoring of root‐zone salinity. Salinity in the root zone was altered by changing irrigation solution salinity or by changing the extent of leaching. Extracted oil was analyzed for quality parameters including free fatty acid content, polyphenol, tocopherol, sterol and carotenoid levels, fatty acid profile, and antioxidative capacity. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, Volume 99, Issue 3, February 2019, Pages 1180-1189. Read full journal article here.