Special Issue "Rapid Methods for Assessing Food Safety and Quality"

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Analytical Methods".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Maria Schirone
Website
Guest Editor
University of Teramo, Faculty of Bioscience and Technology for Food, Agriculture and Environment, Teramo, Italy
Interests: food hygiene; microbiota; foodborne diseases; biogenic amines; marine biotoxins; milk and dairy products
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Pierina Visciano
Website
Guest Editor
University of Teramo, Faculty of Bioscience and Technology for Food, Agriculture and Environment, Teramo, Italy
Interests: food law; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; heavy metals; mycotoxins; veterinary drugs; fish and fishery products

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Food safety and quality represent major concerns worldwide—not only for the potential risk to consumer health, but also for the economic losses occurring in food industries. A complete quality system involves raw matter, environmental conditions, production process, storage, and distribution, while considering the purpose for which the end product is intended. Appropriate analytical methods combined with good hygiene practices are essential to ensure a safe food supply and/or to minimize the occurrence of foodborne outbreaks due to the consumption of food contaminated with pathogens such as bacteria, fungi, and parasites. On the other hand, the lack of measures able to detect quality deterioration, spoilage, authenticity, and adulteration, as well as the texture, rheology, and sensory properties of food can affect the food industry economy and reduce consumer confidence. The use of rapid analytical methods can benefit food companies by saving time and cost, so it is eligible to develop new reliable assays for a good and fast control of products through the entire food chain.

Prof. Maria Schirone
Prof. Pierina Visciano
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Foods is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • food safety
  • food quality
  • foodborne diseases
  • pathogens
  • physicochemical and sensory characteristics
  • analytical methods

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Rapid Methods for Assessing Food Safety and Quality
Foods 2020, 9(4), 533; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040533 - 23 Apr 2020
Abstract
Food safety represents a central issue for the global food chain and a daily concern for all people. Contaminated food by physical, biological or chemical hazards can harm consumers, increasing demand for health services, government expenditure on public health and other social costs. [...] Read more.
Food safety represents a central issue for the global food chain and a daily concern for all people. Contaminated food by physical, biological or chemical hazards can harm consumers, increasing demand for health services, government expenditure on public health and other social costs. The quality assurance programs are based on the continuous monitoring of raw matter, production process, storage and distribution of the end products, including the purpose for which they are intended. Such programs represent an important objective for food producers, not only for the potential risk to human health, but also for the economic losses to which they can be subjected. The development and use of rapid analytical methods able to identify the main failures in food production can benefit food companies by saving time and costs for the good and fast control of products through the entire food chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rapid Methods for Assessing Food Safety and Quality)

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Detection of Histamine Based on Gold Nanoparticles with Dual Sensor System of Colorimetric and Fluorescence
Foods 2020, 9(3), 316; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9030316 - 09 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Gold nanoparticles (Au-NPs), with the dual sensor system of colorimetric and fluorescence responses, were developed for the determination of histamine as a spoilage monitor for distinguishing lifetime and freshness of aquatic products. Upon addition of histamine, the absorption coefficient orders of magnitude via [...] Read more.
Gold nanoparticles (Au-NPs), with the dual sensor system of colorimetric and fluorescence responses, were developed for the determination of histamine as a spoilage monitor for distinguishing lifetime and freshness of aquatic products. Upon addition of histamine, the absorption coefficient orders of magnitude via the interaction of free electrons and photons were affected, and the characteristic absorption peak of Au-NPs was red-shifted from 520 nm to 664 nm. Meanwhile, the large amino groups in the networks of histamine-Au-NPs with high molecular orbital exhibited excellent fluorescence behavior at 415 nm. Au-NPs offered a range of 0.001–10.0 μM and 0.01–1.0 μM with a limit of detection of 0.87 nM and 2.04 nM by UV-vis and fluorescence spectrum assay, respectively. Moreover, Au-NPs could be used to semiquantitatively analyze histamine with the naked eye, since the significant colorimetric and fluorescence reaction of Au-NPs solution that coincided with different concentrations of histamine can be observed as the histamine concentration was 0.1–1.0 μM. Both of the dual-sensor systems of Au-NPs were successfully applied to the quantitative analysis of histamine in fresh salmon muscle, suggesting the simplicity and rapidity in the dual detection approaches of Au-NPs might be suitable for spoilage assay of aquatic food to ensure food safety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rapid Methods for Assessing Food Safety and Quality)
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Open AccessArticle
FT-NIR Analysis of Intact Table Grape Berries to Understand Consumer Preference Driving Factors
Foods 2020, 9(1), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9010098 - 17 Jan 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Fourier-transform near infrared spectroscopy (FT-NIR) is a technique used in the compositional and sensory analysis of foodstuffs. In this work, we have measured the main maturity parameters for grape (sugars and acids) using hundreds of intact berry samples to build models for the [...] Read more.
Fourier-transform near infrared spectroscopy (FT-NIR) is a technique used in the compositional and sensory analysis of foodstuffs. In this work, we have measured the main maturity parameters for grape (sugars and acids) using hundreds of intact berry samples to build models for the prediction of these parameters from berries of two very different varieties: “Victoria” and “Autumn Royal”. Together with the chemical composition in terms of sugar and acidic content, we have carried out a sensory analysis on single berries. Employing the models built for sugars and acids it was possible to learn the sweetness and acidity of each berry before the destructive sensory analysis. The direct correlation of sensory data with FT-NIR spectra is difficult; therefore, spectral data were exported from the spectrometer built-in software and analyzed with R software using a statistical analysis technique (Spearman correlation) which allowed the correlation of berry appreciation data with specific wavelengths that were then related to sugar and acidic content. In this article, we show how it is possible to carry out the analysis of single berries to obtain data on chemical composition parameters and consumer appreciation with a fast, simple, and non-destructive technique with a clear advantage for producers and consumers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rapid Methods for Assessing Food Safety and Quality)
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Open AccessArticle
Validation of a Commercial Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) Assay for the Rapid Detection of Anisakis spp. DNA in Processed Fish Products
Foods 2020, 9(1), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9010092 - 16 Jan 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Parasites belonging to the Anisakis genera are organisms of interest for human health because they are responsible for the Anisakiasis zoonosis, caused by the ingestion of raw or undercooked fish. Furthermore, several authors have reported this parasite to be a relevant inducer of [...] Read more.
Parasites belonging to the Anisakis genera are organisms of interest for human health because they are responsible for the Anisakiasis zoonosis, caused by the ingestion of raw or undercooked fish. Furthermore, several authors have reported this parasite to be a relevant inducer of acute or chronic allergic diseases. In this work, a rapid commercial system based on Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) was optimised and validated for the sensitive and rapid detection of Anisakis spp. DNA in processed fish products. The specificity and sensitivity of the LAMP assay for processed fish samples experimentally infected with Anisakis spp. larvae and DNA were determined. The LAMP system proposed in this study was able to give positive amplification for all the processed fish samples artificially contaminated with Anisakis spp., giving sensitivity values equal to 100%. Specificity tests provided no amplification for the Contracaecum, Pseudoterranova, or Hysterothylacium genera and uninfected samples. The limit of detection (LOD) of the LAMP assay proposed was 102 times lower than the real-time PCR method compared. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report regarding the application of the LAMP assay for the detection of Anisakis spp. in processed fish products. The results obtained indicate that the LAMP assay validated in this work could be a reliable, easy-to-use, and convenient tool for the rapid detection of Anisakis DNA in fish product inspection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rapid Methods for Assessing Food Safety and Quality)
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Open AccessArticle
A Real-Time PCR Screening Assay for Rapid Detection of Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak Strains
Foods 2020, 9(1), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9010067 - 08 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
From January 2015 to March 2016, an outbreak of 23 human cases of listeriosis in the Marche region and one human case in the Umbria region of Italy was caused by Listeria monocytogenes strains showing a new pulsotype never described before in Italy. [...] Read more.
From January 2015 to March 2016, an outbreak of 23 human cases of listeriosis in the Marche region and one human case in the Umbria region of Italy was caused by Listeria monocytogenes strains showing a new pulsotype never described before in Italy. A total of 37 clinical strains isolated from patients exhibiting listeriosis symptoms and 1374 strains correlated to the outbreak were received by the Italian National Reference Laboratory for L. monocytogenes (It NRL Lm) of Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Abruzzo e del Molise (IZSAM) for outbreak investigation. A real-time PCR assay was purposely designed for a rapid screening of the strains related to the outbreak. PCR-positive strains were successively typed through molecular serogrouping, pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). Applying the described strategy, based on real-time PCR screening, we were able to considerably reduce time and costs during the outbreak investigation activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rapid Methods for Assessing Food Safety and Quality)
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Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Different Smoking Procedures on the Content of 16 PAHs in Traditional Dry Cured Smoked Meat “Hercegovačka Pečenica”
Foods 2019, 8(12), 690; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8120690 - 17 Dec 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
During smoking, meat products may get contaminated by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), especially the ones that are smoked in traditional (uncontrolled) conditions. This study aims to evaluate the difference in PAH content in samples of traditional dry cured pork meat products, “Hercegovačka pečenica”, [...] Read more.
During smoking, meat products may get contaminated by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), especially the ones that are smoked in traditional (uncontrolled) conditions. This study aims to evaluate the difference in PAH content in samples of traditional dry cured pork meat products, “Hercegovačka pečenica”, produced in (1) a traditional smokehouse and (2) in industrial chambers. The study revealed that the content of the four priority PAHs (PAH4) in samples produced in a traditional smoking manner highly exceeded (up to 10 times) the maximal limits set for PAHs (12 µg/kg). PAH4 in all samples subjected to industrial smoking procedures was below the limit of quantification. All samples had below-the-limit-of-quantification values for Benzo[a]pyrene. The surface layer of the samples produced in traditional conditions had the highest total content of PAH16. The inner parts of all samples, whether traditional or industrial, had significantly lower PAH16 concentration than the surface layer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rapid Methods for Assessing Food Safety and Quality)
Open AccessArticle
Accreditation Procedure for Trichinella spp. Detection in Slaughterhouses: The Experience of an Internal Laboratory in Italy
Foods 2019, 8(6), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8060195 - 06 Jun 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Trichinellosis is a severe foodborne zoonotic disease due to the consumption of undercooked meat containing Trichinella spp. larvae. According to Commission Regulation (EU) No 1375/2015, domestic pigs, farmed wild boar, and horses must be tested for the presence of the parasite in the [...] Read more.
Trichinellosis is a severe foodborne zoonotic disease due to the consumption of undercooked meat containing Trichinella spp. larvae. According to Commission Regulation (EU) No 1375/2015, domestic pigs, farmed wild boar, and horses must be tested for the presence of the parasite in the muscles as part of post-mortem examination. In this study, the accreditation procedure and the maintenance of the certificate for internal laboratory attached to a slaughterhouse are described. The main advantages of such accreditation are represented by the possibility to obtain fast results in order to process carcasses quickly, whereas the difficulties for the technician are linked to performing proficiency testing and following training courses. This program can be considered particularly useful for surveillance and food safety purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rapid Methods for Assessing Food Safety and Quality)
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Open AccessArticle
Validation Including Uncertainty Estimation of a GC–MS/MS Method for Determination of Selected Halogenated Priority Substances in Fish Using Rapid and Efficient Lipid Removing Sample Preparation
Foods 2019, 8(3), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8030101 - 18 Mar 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
A rapid method is proposed for the determination of selected H2SO4 stable organic compounds—eight organochlorines (OCs; hexachloro-1,3-butadiene, pentachlorobenzene, hexachlorobenzene, hexachlorocyclohexane—HCH—isomers, heptachlor) and six polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs; BDE-28, 47, 99, 100, 153, 154)—in fish samples. In the method, a modified [...] Read more.
A rapid method is proposed for the determination of selected H2SO4 stable organic compounds—eight organochlorines (OCs; hexachloro-1,3-butadiene, pentachlorobenzene, hexachlorobenzene, hexachlorocyclohexane—HCH—isomers, heptachlor) and six polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs; BDE-28, 47, 99, 100, 153, 154)—in fish samples. In the method, a modified QuEChERS (quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged and safe) sample preparation using pH-tuned dispersive liquid–liquid microextraction (DLLME) and H2SO4 digestion fish extract clean-up is followed by gas chromatography–triple quadrupole tandem mass spectrometry (GC–QqQ-MS/MS) analysis. The method was validated in terms of linearity, limits of the method, recovery, accuracy, analysis of standard reference material (NIST SRM 1946), and estimation of combined uncertainty of the measurement (top-down approach). For validation, chub composite samples were used, and subsequently, the method was successfully applied to analysis of real samples of eight fish species. Finally, the method passed the analytical Eco-Scale evaluation as “an acceptable green analysis method”, and showed its advantages (simplicity, rapidity, low cost, high extract clean-up efficiency, good sensitivity) when compared to other reported QuEChERS based methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rapid Methods for Assessing Food Safety and Quality)
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Open AccessArticle
Relationship between Water Activity and Moisture Content in Floral Honey
Foods 2019, 8(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8010030 - 16 Jan 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
The water activity (Aw) and moisture content (MC) data of floral honey at five temperatures were determined using the Aw method and it was found that temperature significantly affected the Aw/MC data. The linear equation could be used to express the relationship between [...] Read more.
The water activity (Aw) and moisture content (MC) data of floral honey at five temperatures were determined using the Aw method and it was found that temperature significantly affected the Aw/MC data. The linear equation could be used to express the relationship between Aw and MC of honeys. The empirical regression equations between parameters and temperature were established. To evaluate the factors affecting the Aw/MC data, we used categorical tests of regression analysis to assess the effect of the correlation between Aw and MC of honey and examined the factors affecting the regression parameters. Six datasets from five countries were selected from the literature. The significance of the levels of qualitative categories was tested by t-test. The slope of the relationship between Aw and MC was affected by the state of honey (liquid and crystallized). The intercepts were significantly affected by honey type (flower or honeydew), harvesting year, geographical collection site, botanical source and other factors. The outliers in the datasets significantly affected the results. With modern regression analysis, useful information on the correlation between Aw and MC could be found. The results indicated that no universal linear equation for Aw and MC could be used. The Aw value could be used as a criterion for the honey industry; then, the MC of honey could be calculated by the specific linear equation between Aw and MC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rapid Methods for Assessing Food Safety and Quality)
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