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Review

Potential of Flow Cytometric Approaches for Rapid Microbial Detection and Characterization in the Food Industry—A Review

1
Department of Food Science and Technology, Institute of Food Technology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU), 1190 Vienna, Austria
2
Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy, Quality and Safety of Food and Feed, 14469 Potsdam, Germany
3
Institute of Sanitary Engineering and Water Pollution Control, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, 1190 Vienna, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Walter Randazzo and Pilar Truchado
Foods 2021, 10(12), 3112; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10123112
Received: 7 October 2021 / Revised: 14 November 2021 / Accepted: 16 November 2021 / Published: 15 December 2021
As microbial contamination is persistent within the food and bioindustries and foodborne infections are still a significant cause of death, the detection, monitoring, and characterization of pathogens and spoilage microorganisms are of great importance. However, the current methods do not meet all relevant criteria. They either show (i) inadequate sensitivity, rapidity, and effectiveness; (ii) a high workload and time requirement; or (iii) difficulties in differentiating between viable and non-viable cells. Flow cytometry (FCM) represents an approach to overcome such limitations. Thus, this comprehensive literature review focuses on the potential of FCM and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for food and bioindustry applications. First, the principles of FCM and FISH and basic staining methods are discussed, and critical areas for microbial contamination, including abiotic and biotic surfaces, water, and air, are characterized. State-of-the-art non-specific FCM and specific FISH approaches are described, and their limitations are highlighted. One such limitation is the use of toxic and mutagenic fluorochromes and probes. Alternative staining and hybridization approaches are presented, along with other strategies to overcome the current challenges. Further research needs are outlined in order to make FCM and FISH even more suitable monitoring and detection tools for food quality and safety and environmental and clinical approaches. View Full-Text
Keywords: flow cytometry; fluorescence in situ hybridization; inline monitoring; microbial contamination; food safety flow cytometry; fluorescence in situ hybridization; inline monitoring; microbial contamination; food safety
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zand, E.; Froehling, A.; Schoenher, C.; Zunabovic-Pichler, M.; Schlueter, O.; Jaeger, H. Potential of Flow Cytometric Approaches for Rapid Microbial Detection and Characterization in the Food Industry—A Review. Foods 2021, 10, 3112. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10123112

AMA Style

Zand E, Froehling A, Schoenher C, Zunabovic-Pichler M, Schlueter O, Jaeger H. Potential of Flow Cytometric Approaches for Rapid Microbial Detection and Characterization in the Food Industry—A Review. Foods. 2021; 10(12):3112. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10123112

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zand, Elena, Antje Froehling, Christoph Schoenher, Marija Zunabovic-Pichler, Oliver Schlueter, and Henry Jaeger. 2021. "Potential of Flow Cytometric Approaches for Rapid Microbial Detection and Characterization in the Food Industry—A Review" Foods 10, no. 12: 3112. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10123112

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