Abstract: Few recent outbreaks in Europe and the US involving Campylobacter and Salmonella were linked to the consumption of chicken livers. Studies investigating Staphylococcus aureus in chicken livers and gizzards are very limited. The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence, antimicrobial resistance, and virulence of S. aureus and MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) in retail chicken livers and gizzards in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In this study, 156 chicken livers and 39 chicken gizzards samples of two brands were collected. While one of the brands showed very low prevalence of 1% (1/100) for S. aureus in chicken livers and gizzards, the second brand showed prevalence of 37% (31/95). No MRSA was detected since none harbored the mecA or mecC gene. Eighty seven S. aureus isolates from livers and 28 from gizzards were screened for antimicrobial resistance to 16 antimicrobials and the possession of 18 toxin genes. Resistance to most of the antimicrobials screened including cefoxitin and oxacillin was higher in the chicken gizzards isolates. While the prevalence of enterotoxin genes seg and sei was higher in the gizzards isolates, the prevalence of hemolysin genes hla, hlb, and hld was higher in the livers ones. The lucocidin genes lukE-lukD was equally prevalent in chicken livers and gizzards isolates. Using spa typing, a subset of the recovered isolates showed that they are not known to be livestock associated and, hence, may be of a human origin. In conclusion, this study stresses the importance of thorough cooking of chicken livers and gizzards since it might contain multidrug resistant enterotoxigenic S. aureus. To our knowledge this is the first study to specifically investigate the prevalence of S. aureus in chicken livers and gizzards in the US.
Abstract: Pressure-induced gelatinization of chickpea flour (CF) was studied in combination with subsequent temperature-induced gelatinization. CF slurries (with 1:5 flour-to-water ratio) and CF in powder form were treated with high hydrostatic pressure (HHP), temperature (T), and treatment time (t) at three levels (200, 400, 600 MPa; 10, 25, 50 °C; 5, 15, 25 min). In order to investigate the effect of storage (S), half of the HHP-treated CF slurries were immediately analyzed for changes in oscillatory rheological properties under isothermal heating at 75 °C for 15 min followed by cooling to 25 °C. The other half of the HHP-treated CF slurries were refrigerated (at 4 °C) for one week and subsequently analyzed for changes in oscillatory properties under the same heating conditions as the unrefrigerated samples. HHP-treated CF in powder form was analyzed for changes in textural properties of heat-induced CF gels under isothermal heating at 90 °C for 5 min and subsequent cooling to 25 °C. Structural changes during gelatinization were investigated using microscopy. Pressure had a more significant effect on rheological and textural properties, followed by T and treatment t (in that order). Gel aging in HHP-treated CF slurries during storage was supported by rheological measurements.
Abstract: The effect of pressure-assisted thermal processing (PATP) in combination with seven synthetic antioxidants was evaluated on the retention of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in enriched milk. Milk rich in CLA was first saturated with oxygen, followed by the addition of either catechin, cysteine, ascorbic acid, tannic acid, gallic acid, caffeic acid or p-coumaric acid (500 mg kg−1 untreated milk). Samples were treated at 600 MPa and 120 °C up to 15 min of holding time. During PATP, CLA not only oxidized at a slower rate, but also less oxygen was consumed compared to the control (0.1 MPa and 120 °C). In addition, phenolic antioxidants were able to quench dissolved oxygen in samples treated with PATP. For those samples added with gallic acid and catechin, 85% and 75% of the CLA was retained after 15 min of holding time at 600 MPa and 120 °C, respectively. The retention of CLA was enhanced by the application of PATP in combination with gallic acid.
Abstract: The maintenance of the quality and storage life of perishable fruits and vegetables is a major challenge for the food industry. In this study, the effects of different temperatures, packaging materials and storage time on the stability of capsaicinoids and antioxidants, such as total carotenoids, ascorbic acid and total phenolic compounds, were studied in three commercially cultivated hot pepper hybrids, namely Sky Red, Maha and Wonder King. For this purpose, dry whole pods were packed in jute bags and low-density polyethylene bags (LDPE), stored for five months under controlled conditions at 20, 25 or 30 ○C and analyzed on Day 0 and at 50-day intervals until Day 150. The three hot pepper hybrids differed significantly with respect to their capsaicinoids and antioxidant concentrations, but the results indicated that with the increase in storage temperature and time, a gradual and steady decrease in these levels was equally observed for all hybrids. Overall, mean concentrations after five months were significantly reduced by 22.6% for ascorbic acid, 19.0% for phenolic compounds, 17% for carotenoids and 12.7% for capsaicinoids. The trends of capsaicinoids and antioxidants evolution were decreasing gradually during storage until Day 150, this effect being more pronounced at higher temperature. Furthermore, the disappearance rates of capsaicinoids and antioxidants were higher in peppers packed in jute bags than in those wrapped with LDPE. In conclusion, despite the sensitivity of capsaicinoids and antioxidants to oxygen, light and moisture, the packaging in natural jute or synthetic LDPE plastic bags, as well as the storage at ambient temperature preserved between 77.4% and 87.3% of the initial amounts of these health- and nutrition-promoting compounds during five months’ storage.
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.