Abstract: The morphological, physiological and epidemiological features of L. monocytogenes, together with the severity of human listeriosis infections, make L. monocytogenes of particular concern for manufacturers of cold-stored “ready to eat” (RTE) foods. L. monocytogenes has been isolated from a wide variety of RTE foods and is responsible for several outbreaks associated with the consumption of RTE meat, poultry, dairy, fish and vegetable products. Although L. monocytogenes is among the most frequently-detected pathogens in dry fermented sausages, these products could be included in the category of RTE products in which the growth of L. monocytogenes is not favored and have rarely been implicated in listeriosis outbreaks. However, L. monocytogenes is highly difficult to control in fermented sausage processing environments due to its high tolerance to low pH and high salt concentration. In many Mediterranean-style dry fermented sausages, an empirical application of the hurdle technology often occurs and the frequent detection of L. monocytogenes in these products at the end of ripening highlights the need for food business operators to properly apply hurdle technology and to control the contamination routes of L. monocytogenes in the processing plants. In the following, through an up-to-date review of (personal and un-) published data, the main aspects of the presence of L. monocytogenes in Mediterranean-style dry fermented sausages will be discussed.
Abstract: In this study, we investigated the multifunctionality (microbial starters and probiotics) of Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1 and Lactobacillus plantarum CECT 8328 strains used as microbial starters for the production of yogurt in combination with Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. The ability of the probiotic strains to survive oro-gastrointestinal stresses was monitored by an in vitro assay simulating the human digestive tract. The transcriptional level of several genes involved in the immune response suggested that the probiotic strains may have a favorable influence on immunomodulation. Overall, this study revealed that the tested Lactobacilli exhibited suitable technological features for yogurt production and might be used to formulate novel food with immunomodulating effects.
Abstract: Plant-derived extracts (PDEs) are a source of biologically-active substances having antimicrobial properties. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential of neem oil (NO) as a preservative of fresh retail meat. The antibacterial activity of NO against Carnobacterium maltaromaticum, Brochothrix thermosphacta, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas fluorescens, Lactobacillus curvatus and L. sakei was assessed in a broth model system. The bacterial growth inhibition zone (mm) ranged from 18.83 ± 1.18 to 30.00 ± 1.00, as was found by a disc diffusion test with 100 µL NO. The bacterial percent growth reduction ranged from 30.81 ± 2.08 to 99.70 ± 1.53 in the broth microdilution method at different NO concentrations (1:10 to 1:100,000). Viable bacterial cells were detected in experimentally-contaminated meat up to the second day after NO treatment (100 µL NO per 10 g meat), except for C. maltaromaticum, which was detected up to the sixth day by PCR and nested PCR with propidium monoazide (PMA™) dye. In comparison to the previously published results, C. maltaromaticum, E. coli, L. curvatus and L. sakei appeared more susceptible to NO compared to neem cake extract (NCE) by using a broth model system.
Abstract: Allergic reactions to food are on the rise worldwide and there is a corresponding increase in interest to understand the molecular mechanisms responsible. Peanut allergies are the most problematic because the reaction often persists into adulthood and can be as severe as anaphylaxis and death. The purpose of the work presented here was to develop a reproducible method to produce large quantities of pure recombinant Ara h 1(rAra h 1) that will enable standardization of immunological tests for patients and allow structural and immunological studies on the wild type and mutagenized forms of the protein. Ara h 1 is initially a pre-pro-protein which, following two endoproteolytic cleavages, becomes the mature form found in peanut. The mature form however has flexible regions that make it refractory to some structural studies including crystallography. Therefore, independent purification of the mature and core regions was desirable. Expression constructs were synthesized cDNA clones for each in a pET plasmid vector without tags. Codons were optimized for expression in E. coli. High-level expression was achieved in BL21 strains. Purification to near homogeneity was achieved by a combination of ammonium sulfate precipitation and ion exchange chromatography. The purified rAra h 1 was then compared with natural Ara h 1 for IgE binding. All patients recognized both the folded natural and rAra h 1, but the IgE binding to the rArah1 was significantly reduced in comparison to the natural allergen, which could potentially make it useful for immunotherapeutic purposes.
Abstract: Aim: To determine the contribution of food and vitamin D supplements on the serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D3) concentration between October and April in a northern country (almost absent vitamin D synthesis by sunlight). Methods: Children aged 1–18 years were selected who visited the general pediatrician with a complaint whereby serum 25(OH)D3 concentration was determined. The intake of vitamin D was calculated based on a dietary questionnaire. Results: 51.1% of the 174 children had a serum 25(OH)D3 concentration below 50 nmol/L, 9.2% had a serum 25(OH)D3 concentration below 30 nmol/L. Adolescents showed lower concentrations compared to younger children. There was a positive correlation between the total amount of vitamin D obtained from food and the serum 25(OH)D3 concentration (r = 0.218, p = 0.004). The intake of milk contributed more to the serum 25(OH)D3 concentration compared to the intake of artificial supplementation, butter or fish. Conclusions: In the absence of vitamin D synthesis by sunlight, vitamin D obtained from food has a significant influence on the serum 25(OH)D3 concentration in children. Vitamin D supplements can be described as trivial. This means we should pay more attention to food as a natural source of vitamin D.