Abstract: We report on the short-term test-retest baseline variability in macular function tests in ZEASTRESS-Pilot participants (n = 18), on their cross-sectional correlation with macular pigment optical density (MPOD), and on the effects of four months (FUV4) of 20 mg/day zeaxanthin (ZX), followed by a four-month washout (FUV8; n = 24, age 50–81 years old). Outcomes included: MPOD at 0.5 and 2.0 deg eccentricity (MPOD-0.5 and -2.0); contrast sensitivity (CS); pattern-reversal electroretinogram (PERG) amplitude; dark-adapted 650 nm foveal cone sensitivity (DA650-FCS); and 500 mn parafoveal rod sensitivity (DA500-PFRS). All measures of macular function showed close test-retest correlation (Pearson’s r range: 0.744–0.946) and low coefficients of variation (CV range: 1.13%–4.00%). MPOD correlated in a complex fashion with macular function. Following supplementation, MPOD-0.5 and MPOD-2.0 increased at both FUV4 and FUV8 (p ≤ 0.0001 for all measures). Continued, delayed MPOD increase and a small, but significant (p = 0.012), CS increase was seen at FUV8 only in females. PERGs increased significantly at FUV4 (p = 0.0006), followed by a partial decline at FUV8. In conclusion, following ZX supplementation, MPOD increased significantly. There was no effect on DA-650 FCS or DA-500 PFRS. Both CS and PERG amplitudes increased following supplementation, but the effect varied between males and females. Additional studies appear warranted to confirm and characterize further these inter-gender differences.
Abstract: It is well known that the vast majority of seafood is captured or farmed in emerging countries and exported to developed countries. This has resulted in seafood being the number one traded food commodity in the world. Food safety is essential to this trade. Exporting countries should understand the regulatory food safety programs of the countries they ship to in order to comply with their applicable laws and regulations to avoid violations and disruptions in trade. The United States (U.S.) imports more seafood than any individual country in the world but the European Union (E.U.) countries, as a block, import significantly more. Each importing country has its own programs and systems in place to ensure the safety of imported seafood. However, most countries that export seafood have regulatory programs in place that comply with the import requirements of the E.U. The purpose of this paper is to describe the United States Food and Drug Administration’s (USFDA) imported seafood safety program. The primary audience for the information is foreign government regulators, seafood exporters, and U.S. importers. It can also give consumers confidence that f U.S. seafood is safe no matter which country it originates from.
Abstract: Dry cured hams were investigated for their ability to develop red color even at low temperature (3–4 °C) and in the absence of added nitrites; results were compared with those obtained from nitrite-free hams made at conventional warm maturing temperatures. Colorimetric parameters (L*, a*, b*, and hue) and concentration of the main pigments Zn protoporphyrin IX (ZnPP) and heme were measured at three stages of preparation (six, nine, and 12 months), showing that red color was successfully formed at low temperatures, though at a slower rate and less intensively than under warm conditions. Major differences in the pattern of color development were found with the two processing temperatures. While the typical features of an enzyme-dependent mechanism, with a progressive drop in enzyme activity paralleling the synthesis of Zn protoporphyrin IX, were observed at warm temperatures, the same did not occur in cold-made hams, where the enzyme activity was almost unchanged throughout the process. These results, along with data from a descriptive sensory analysis, are supportive of a non-enzymatic mechanism leading to ZnPP (hence the red color) under cold conditions, with an estimated three-month delay compared with nitrite-free hams manufactured in a warm maturing regimen.
Abstract: Starch is widely used as an ingredient and significantly contributes to texture, appearance, and overall acceptability of cereal based foods, playing an important role due to its ability to form a matrix, entrapping air bubbles. A detailed characterisation of five gluten-free starches (corn, wheat, rice, tapioca, potato) was performed in this study. In addition, the influence of these starches, with different compositional and morphological properties, was evaluated on a simple gluten-free model bread system. The morphological characterisation, evaluated using scanning electron microscopy, revealed some similarities among the starches, which could be linked to the baking performance of the breads. Moreover, the lipid content, though representing one of the minor components in starch, was found to have an influence on pasting, bread making, and staling. Quality differences in cereal root and tuber starch based breads were observed. However, under the baking conditions used, gluten-free rendered wheat starch performed best, followed by potato starch, in terms of loaf volume and cell structure. Tapioca starch and rice starch based breads were not further analysed, due to an inferior baking performance. This is the first study to evaluate gluten-free starch on a simple model bread system.
Abstract: Post-harvest Processing (PHP) methods are viable food processing methods employed to reduce human pathogens in molluscan shellfish that would normally be consumed raw, such as raw oysters on the half-shell. Efficacy of human pathogen reduction associated with PHP varies with respect to time, temperature, salinity, pressure, and process exposure. Regulatory requirements and PHP molluscan shellfish quality implications are major considerations for PHP usage. Food safety impacts associated with PHP of molluscan shellfish vary in their efficacy and may have synergistic outcomes when combined. Further research for many PHP methods are necessary and emerging PHP methods that result in minimal quality loss and effective human pathogen reduction should be explored.
Abstract: Essential oils are natural antimicrobials that have the potential to provide a safer alternative to synthetic antimicrobials currently used in the food industry. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of essential oils from white wormwood, rose-scented geranium and bay laurel against Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli O157:H7 on fresh produce and to examine consumer acceptability of fresh produce treated with these essential oils. Our results showed that essential oil derived from rose-scented geranium exhibited the most effective antimicrobial activity at the same and similar minimum inhibition concentration levels (0.4%, v/v and 0.4% and 0.5%, v/v) respectively against Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli O157:H7. All three essential oils showed antioxidant properties, with the highest activity occurring in bay laurel essential oil. In a sensory test, tomatoes, cantaloupe and spinach sprayed with 0.4% rose-scented geranium essential oil received higher scores by panelists. In conclusion, rose-scented geranium essential oil could be developed into a natural antimicrobial to prevent contamination of Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli O157:H7 in fresh produce, plus this oil would provide additional health benefits due to the antioxidant properties of its residue.