Abstract: Microbial contamination management is a crucial task in the food industry. Undesirable microbial spoilage in a modern food processing plant poses a risk to consumers’ health, causing severe economic losses to the manufacturers and retailers, contributing to wastage of food and a concern to the world’s food supply. The main goal of the quality management is to reduce the time interval between the filling and the detection of a microorganism before release, from several days, to minutes or, at most, hours. This would allow the food company to stop the production, limiting the damage to just a part of the entire batch, with considerable savings in terms of product value, thereby avoiding the utilization of raw materials, packaging and strongly reducing food waste. Sensor systems offer major advantages over current systems as they are versatile and affordable but need to be integrated in the existing processing systems as a process analytical control (PAT) tool. The desire for good selectivity, low cost, portable and usable at working sites, sufficiently rapid to be used at-line or on-line, and no sample preparation devices are required. The application of biosensors in the food industry still has to compete with the standard analytical techniques in terms of cost, performance and reliability.
Abstract: High hydrostatic pressure (HHP), a non-thermal technology, which typically uses water as a pressure transfer medium, is characterized by a minimal impact on food characteristics (sensory, nutritional, and functional). Today, this technology, present in many food companies, can effectively inactivate bacterial cells and many enzymes. All this makes HHP very attractive, with very good acceptance by consumers, who value the organoleptic characteristics of products processed by this non-thermal food preservation technology because they associate these products with fresh-like. On the other hand, this technology reduces the need for non-natural synthetic additives of low consumer acceptance.
Abstract: Thermal treatment of food changes its chemical composition drastically with the formation of “so-called” Maillard reaction products, being responsible for the sensory properties of food, along with detrimental and beneficial health effects. In this contribution, we will describe the reactivity of several amino acids, including arginine, lysine, aspartic acid, tyrosine, serine and cysteine, with carbohydrates. The analytical strategy employed involves high and ultra-high resolution mass spectrometry followed by chemometric-type data analysis. The different reactivity of amino acids towards carbohydrates has been observed with cysteine and serine, resulting in complex MS spectra with thousands of detectable reaction products. Several compounds have been tentatively identified, including caramelization reaction products, adducts of amino acids with carbohydrates, their dehydration and hydration products, disproportionation products and aromatic compounds based on molecular formula considerations.
Abstract: Based on a review of the most recent available scientific evidence, the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 (USDA DG) provide information and advice for choosing a healthy diet. To compare the environmental impacts of, respectively, omnivorous (OMN), lacto-ovo-vegetarian (LOV) and vegan (VEG) dietary patterns as suggested in the USDA DG, we analyzed the three patterns by Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology. The presence of animal food in the diet was the main determinant of environmental impact. The major impact always stemmed from land and water use. The second largest impact came from energy use. Emission of toxic inorganic compounds into the atmosphere was the third cause of impact. Climate change and acidification/eutrophication represented other substantial impacts.
Abstract: In this experiment, raw milk and commercially available full-cream UHT milk, semi-skimmed UHT milk, skimmed UHT milk, full-cream pasteurized milk, semi-skimmed pasteurized milk and infant formulas for babies between 6 and 12 months of age were analyzed by RIA, with a method using an antibody directed against human leptin and human leptin as reference standard. Raw milk and full-cream UHT milk did not differ for human-like leptin. Leptin content of full-cream pasteurized milk was not different to that of full-cream UHT milk, but it was 14% lower (p < 0.05) than that observed in raw milk. Human-like leptin level of semi-skimmed UHT milk was not different to that of semi-skimmed pasteurized milk, but it was 30% lower (p < 0.0001) than those of full-cream UHT and full-cream pasteurized milks. In skimmed UHT milk, leptin was 40% lower (p < 0.0001) than in full-cream UHT milk. Leptin was correlated (p < 0.001) with lipid content. Leptin level of infant formulas was not different to that of skimmed milks. Results suggest that the heat treatment (pasteurization or UHT) is not a modifier of human-like leptin content of edible commercial bovine milks, whereas the skimming process significantly reduces milk leptin level.
Abstract: Honey has been used as a food and medical product since the earliest times. It has been used in many cultures for its medicinal properties, as a remedy for burns, cataracts, ulcers and wound healing, because it exerts a soothing effect when initially applied to open wounds. Depending on its origin, honey can be classified in different categories among which, monofloral honey seems to be the most promising and interesting as a natural remedy. Manuka honey, a monofloral honey derived from the manuka tree (Leptospermum scoparium), has greatly attracted the attention of researchers for its biological properties, especially its antimicrobial and antioxidant capacities. Our manuscript reviews the chemical composition and the variety of beneficial nutritional and health effects of manuka honey. Firstly, the chemical composition of manuka honey is described, with special attention given to its polyphenolic composition and other bioactive compounds, such as glyoxal and methylglyoxal. Then, the effect of manuka honey in wound treatment is described, as well as its antioxidant activity and other important biological effects.