Current Immunoassay Methods for the Rapid Detection of Aflatoxin in Milk and Dairy Products
The presence of high levels of Aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) in dairy signifies an alarming threat as milk and dairy products contain essential nutrients for human health. For this reason, there is a pressing need for developing a fast and reliable screening method for detecting trace aflatoxins in food. Several analytical methods based on high-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectroscopy have been used for aflatoxin detection; however, they are expensive, time-consuming, and require many skills. Recently, immunoassay methods, including ELISA, immunosensors, and lateral flow immunoassay, have been preferred for food analysis because of their improved qualities such as high sensitivity, simplicity, and capability of onsite monitoring. This paper reviews the new developments and applications of immunoassays for the rapid detection of AFM1 in milk. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, Volume 16, Issue 5, September 2017, Pages 808–820. Read the full journal article here.
Exploring the Flavor Life Cycle of Beers with Varying Alcohol Content
Consumers’ willingness to drink alcohol-reduced beers is mainly limited by unfavorable flavor characteristics that arise during consumption. To investigate the temporal flavor dominance during consumption, this study analyzed the five most dominant beer flavors from nine different beers among three types of beer with varying alcohol content to assess the Flavor Life Cycle. Results show that beers with different alcohol content displayed similar flavor dominance (e.g., bitterness) and displayed differences in worty-off flavor, malty flavor, and astringency. In alcohol-free beers, malty flavor increased after swallowing. For bitterness and astringency, higher alcohol content resulted in higher flavor dominance, especially prior to swallowing. The study provides advice to minimize unfavorable flavor experience during consumption of beer with lower alcohol. Food Science & Nutrition, Volume 5, Issue 4, July 2017, Pages 889–895. Read the full journal article here.
Residential Bacteria on Surfaces in the Food Industry and Their Implications for Food Safety and Quality
Sampling after cleaning and disinfection increases the likelihood of targeting residential bacteria. The increasing use of sequencing technologies to identify bacteria has improved knowledge about the bacteria present in food premises. Overall, nonpathogenic Gram-negative bacteria, especially Pseudomonas spp., followed by Enterobacteriaceae and Acinetobacter spp. dominate on food processing surfaces. Residential bacteria may end up in the final products through cross-contamination and may affect food quality. Such effects can be negative and lead to spoilage, but the bacteria may also contribute positively, as through spontaneous fermentation. Pathogenic bacteria present in food processing environments may interact with residential bacteria, resulting in both inhibitory and stimulatory effects on pathogens in multispecies biofilms. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, Volume 16, Issue 5, September 2017, Pages 1022–1041. Read the full journal article here.
Assessment of Irrigation Water Quality and Microbiological Safety of Leafy Greens in Different Production Systems
In this study, the impact of irrigation water on product safety from different food production systems (commercial to small-scale faming and homestead gardens) was assessed. Hygiene indicators (total coliforms, Escherichia coli), and selected foodborne pathogens of water and leafy green vegetables were analyzed. Microbiological parameters of all irrigation water exceeded maximum limits set by the Department of Water Affairs for safe irrigation water. Microbial parameters for leafy greens ranged from 2.94 to 4.31 log CFU/g and 1 to 5.27 log MPN/100g. Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 were not detected in all samples tested but L. monocytogenes was present in irrigation water. This study highlights the potential riskiness of using polluted water for crop production in different agricultural settings. Journal of Food Safety, Volume 37, Issue 3, August 2017, e12324. Read the full journal article here.