Further Research in Food Processing Safety and Quality from Field to Fork

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Quality and Safety".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2024 | Viewed by 17811

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Vinča Institute of Nuclear Science, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia
Interests: pesticides; organophosphates; depression; acetylcholinesterase
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Co-Guest Editor
Department of Physical Chemistry, VINČA Institute of Nuclear Sciences - National Institute of the Republic of Serbia, University of Belgrade, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Interests: antioxidant activity of wines and beers; antioxidants; phenols; electrochemical sensors for food quality; antimicrobial effects of carbonaceous materials; organophosphate pesticide detection; oscillatory reactions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The number of people on the planet is constantly growing, and the need for food production is increasing year by year. Various agricultural innovations help to achieve that goal, but along the way, food safety is often not a priority. The application of pesticides, for example, is excessive and frequently inadequate. Indeed, although banned in many European countries, organophosphate pesticides are still used worldwide. The nutritional value of food also changes during storage. Hence, efficient investigation of food contaminants is needed, as well as the development of sensitive detection techniques for tracking molecules of interest. Food preservation should be promoted in a way that does not influence their nutritional value and toxicity.

Therefore, it is important to understand further and increase our knowledge of the status and developments of the various technologies and processes connected to all aspects of food safety and quality.

This Special Issue aims to cover the most recent progress and developments in the field of food safety and quality. In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome. 

Dr. Tamara Lazarević-Pašti
Dr. Nebojša Potkonjak
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 semimonthly 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 2900 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

  • (bio)sensors for food safety and quality
  • safety and toxicity of natural products
  • pesticides in food
  • microorganisms in food
  • metallic contaminants in food
  • organic pollutants in food
  • veterinary drug residues in food
  • toxins in food
  • radionuclides in food
  • nutritional properties of food
  • antioxidant properties of food
  • natural antioxidants

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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21 pages, 6717 KiB  
Article
Green Extraction Strategy Using Bio-Based Aqueous Biphasic Systems for Polyphenol Valorization from Grape By-Product
by Aleksandra Dimitrijević, Slađana Marić, Ana Jocić, Danijela Tekić, Jasmina Mušović and Joana S. Amaral
Foods 2024, 13(6), 954; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060954 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1028
Abstract
Polyphenols are natural compounds with enhanced antioxidant properties. They are present in relatively high concentrations in fruit/vegetable by-products. Therefore, there is a need for the development of efficient and cost-effective methods for the separation and purification of these valuable compounds. Traditional extraction with [...] Read more.
Polyphenols are natural compounds with enhanced antioxidant properties. They are present in relatively high concentrations in fruit/vegetable by-products. Therefore, there is a need for the development of efficient and cost-effective methods for the separation and purification of these valuable compounds. Traditional extraction with organic solvents needs to be switched to novel methods that are more efficient, with reduced extraction times and low consumption of organic solvents. Aiming at developing sustainable processes for the separation and purification of phenolic compounds, we used three model compounds, namely resveratrol, quercetin, and gallic acid, to investigate ionic liquid-based aqueous biphasic systems (IL-ABSs) formed by cholinium-based IL in combination with polypropylene glycol with a molecular mass of 400 g/mol (PPG400). The ABS composition in the two-phase region was selected according to a previously determined phase diagram. Extraction studies indicated the preferential partition of resveratrol and quercetin toward the hydrophobic PPG-rich phase that is mainly dominated by its hydrophobic nature and the strong salting-out effect of ILs. On the other hand, due to its considerably hydrophilic nature, gallic acid preferentially migrates toward the IL phase. The achieved results from grape stem extract demonstrated high extraction efficiencies of cholinium dihydrogen phosphate (~99% for resveratrol for the PPG phase and 78% for gallic acid for the IL phase), with considerable selectivity, demonstrating promising outcomes for potential applications. Full article
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15 pages, 1266 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Temperature and Storage Duration on the Quality and Attributes of the Breast Meat of Hens after Their Laying Periods
by Anna Augustyńska-Prejsnar, Paweł Hanus, Małgorzata Ormian, Miroslava Kačániová, Zofia Sokołowicz and Jadwiga Topczewska
Foods 2023, 12(23), 4340; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12234340 - 1 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1370
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of temperature (2 °C and 6 °C) and storage duration on the quality and attributes of hens’ breast meat after their laying periods. The study included physicochemical characteristics (pH, drip loss, colour, shear [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of temperature (2 °C and 6 °C) and storage duration on the quality and attributes of hens’ breast meat after their laying periods. The study included physicochemical characteristics (pH, drip loss, colour, shear force), microbiological quality (total Enterobacteriaceae family and Pseudomonas count), and sensory quality. Bacterial identification was performed using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry. The increased meat pH and drip loss was greater at 6 than 2 °C (p < 0.05). An increase in the tenderness of the meat stored at 6 °C was found as early as day 4, as well as at 2 °C on day 8 of storage (p < 0.05). On day 4 of storage, the meat was characterised by a darker colour than on the first day, but the darkening was greater at 6 °C than at 2 °C (p < 0.05). At 6 °C, on day 4 of storage, there was an increase in yellow saturation (b*) of the meat, which was higher at 6 °C than at 2 °C (p < 0.05). At 2 °C, the total bacterial count and number of Pseudomonas spp. in the meat gradually increased along with increasing storage duration, reaching 4.64 log cfu/g and 4.48 log cfu/g, respectively, on the 8th day of storage. At 6 °C, on the sixth day of storage, the total bacterial count in the meat exceeded 7 log cfu/g, considered the limit of microbiological safety. The meat stored at 2 °C had an acceptable sensory quality until the 8th day of storage. The study shows that storage at 2 °C preserves the sensory characteristics and microbiological safety of the hen meat longer at an acceptable level after the laying period. Extended storage life may be of importance to consumers and the meat industry. Full article
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17 pages, 2786 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Washing, Blanching and Frozen Storage on Pesticide Residue in Spinach
by Federica Flamminii, Silvia Minetti, Adriano Mollica, Angelo Cichelli and Lorenzo Cerretani
Foods 2023, 12(14), 2806; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12142806 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2177
Abstract
Spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) is a representative green leafy vegetable commonly consumed fresh or as a ready-to-cook frozen product, with increasing consumption because of its many health-related properties. Among leafy vegetables, spinach poses a major concern in terms of pesticide residue detection [...] Read more.
Spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) is a representative green leafy vegetable commonly consumed fresh or as a ready-to-cook frozen product, with increasing consumption because of its many health-related properties. Among leafy vegetables, spinach poses a major concern in terms of pesticide residue detection due to common phytotechnical practices. In this study, spinach leaves were treated in the open field with three commercial pesticide formulations containing propamocarb, lambda-cyhalothrin, fluopicolide and chlorantraniliprole at the highest concentration. The effects of the successive processing steps of washing, blanching, freezing and frozen storage were evaluated on the levels of the four pesticide residues and the degradation product (propamocarb n-desmethyl). The washing step caused a reduction of fluopicolide and chlorantraniliprole of −47% and −43%, respectively, while having a mild effect on lambda-cyhalothrin content (+5%). A two-minute blanching step allowed for the reduction of pesticides content ranging from −41% to −4% with respect to the washed sample. Different behaviors were depicted for longer blanching times, mainly for propamocarb, reaching −56% after 10 min of treatment. Processing factors higher than 1 were reported mainly for lambda-cyhalothrin and fluopicolide. Frozen storage led to a slight increase in the pesticide content in samples treated for 6 and 10 min. The optimal blanching treatment for spinach, submitted to freezing and frozen storage, seems to be 2 min at 80 °C. Full article
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16 pages, 2028 KiB  
Article
Influence of Ultrasonic and Chemical Pretreatments on Quality Attributes of Dried Pepper (Capsicum annuum)
by Milica Lučić, Nebojša Potkonjak, Ivana Sredović Ignjatović, Steva Lević, Zora Dajić-Stevanović, Stefan Kolašinac, Miona Belović, Aleksandra Torbica, Ivan Zlatanović, Vladimir Pavlović and Antonije Onjia
Foods 2023, 12(13), 2468; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12132468 - 23 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1164
Abstract
This study investigates the effects of ultrasound, in combination with chemical pretreatments, on the quality attributes (total phenolic and carotenoid content, antioxidant activity (2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl assay (DPPH)), ferric-reducing ability (FRAP), CIE L* a* b* color, non-enzymatic browning, rehydration ratio, textural and morphological properties) of [...] Read more.
This study investigates the effects of ultrasound, in combination with chemical pretreatments, on the quality attributes (total phenolic and carotenoid content, antioxidant activity (2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl assay (DPPH)), ferric-reducing ability (FRAP), CIE L* a* b* color, non-enzymatic browning, rehydration ratio, textural and morphological properties) of red pepper subjected to drying (hot air drying or freeze drying). The fractional factorial design was used to assess the impact of factors. The global Derringer desirability function was used to determine the optimal conditions for the best quality attributes of dried pepper. The drying method influenced total phenolic content, a* (redness), and initial rehydration ratio; pretreatment time significantly affected FRAP antiradical activity, a*, chroma and non-browning index, while pH-value had a significant effect on the texture of dried pepper. Non-enzymatic browning was reduced to 72.6%, while the DPPH antioxidant capacity of freeze-dried peppers was enhanced from 4.2% to 71.9%. Ultrasonic pretreatment led to changes in the pepper morphology, while potassium metabisulfite (KMS) was a more effective additive than citric acid. Full article
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20 pages, 4396 KiB  
Article
Spent Coffee Grounds as an Adsorbent for Malathion and Chlorpyrifos—Kinetics, Thermodynamics, and Eco-Neurotoxicity
by Vedran Milanković, Tamara Tasić, Milica Pejčić, Igor Pašti and Tamara Lazarević-Pašti
Foods 2023, 12(12), 2397; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12122397 - 16 Jun 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1855
Abstract
Coffee is one of the most popular beverages, with around 10.5 million tons manufactured annually. The same amount of spent coffee grounds (SCGs) might harm the environment if disposed of carelessly. On the other hand, pesticide contamination in food and biowaste is a [...] Read more.
Coffee is one of the most popular beverages, with around 10.5 million tons manufactured annually. The same amount of spent coffee grounds (SCGs) might harm the environment if disposed of carelessly. On the other hand, pesticide contamination in food and biowaste is a rising problem. Because pesticides are hazardous and can cause serious health consequences, it is critical to understand how they interact with food biowaste materials. However, it is also a question if biowaste can be used to remediate rising pesticide residues in the environment. This study investigated the interactions of SCGs with the organophosphate pesticides malathion (MLT) and chlorpyrifos (CHP) and addressed the possibility of using SCGs as adsorbents for the removal of these pesticides from water and fruit extracts. The kinetics of MLT and CHP adsorption on SCGs fits well with the pseudo-first-order kinetic model. The Langmuir isotherm model best describes the adsorption process, giving the maximal adsorption capacity for MLT as 7.16 mg g−1 and 7.00 mg g−1 for CHP. Based on the thermodynamic analysis, it can be deduced that MLT adsorption on SCGs is exothermic, while CHP adsorption is an endothermic process. The adsorption efficiency of MLT and CHP using SCGs in a complicated matrix of fruit extracts remained constant. The neurotoxicity results showed that no more toxic products were formed during adsorption, indicating that SCGs are a safe-to-use adsorbent for pesticide removal in water and fruit extracts. Full article
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20 pages, 5944 KiB  
Article
Application of Viscose-Based Porous Carbon Fibers in Food Processing—Malathion and Chlorpyrifos Removal
by Tamara Tasić, Vedran Milanković, Katarina Batalović, Stefan Breitenbach, Christoph Unterweger, Christian Fürst, Igor A. Pašti and Tamara Lazarević-Pašti
Foods 2023, 12(12), 2362; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12122362 - 13 Jun 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1401
Abstract
The increasing usage of pesticides to boost food production inevitably leads to their presence in food samples, requiring the development of efficient methods for their removal. Here, we show that carefully tuned viscose-derived activated carbon fibers can be used for malathion and chlorpyrifos [...] Read more.
The increasing usage of pesticides to boost food production inevitably leads to their presence in food samples, requiring the development of efficient methods for their removal. Here, we show that carefully tuned viscose-derived activated carbon fibers can be used for malathion and chlorpyrifos removal from liquid samples, even in complex matrices such as lemon juice and mint ethanol extract. Adsorbents were produced using the Design of Experiments protocol for varying activation conditions (carbonization at 850 °C; activation temperature between 670 and 870 °C; activation time from 30 to 180 min; and CO2 flow rate from 10 to 80 L h−1) and characterized in terms of physical and chemical properties (SEM, EDX, BET, FTIR). Pesticide adsorption kinetics and thermodynamics were then addressed. It was shown that some of the developed adsorbents are also capable of the selective removal of chlorpyrifos in the presence of malathion. The selected materials were not affected by complex matrices of real samples. Moreover, the adsorbent can be regenerated at least five times without pronounced performance losses. We suggest that the adsorptive removal of food contaminants can effectively improve food safety and quality, unlike other methods currently in use, which negatively affect the nutritional value of food products. Finally, data-based models trained on well-characterized materials libraries can direct the synthesis of novel adsorbents for the desired application in food processing. Full article
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17 pages, 25052 KiB  
Article
Layer-by-Layer Deposited Multi-Modal PDAC/rGO Composite-Based Sensors
by Ammar Al-Hamry, Tianqi Lu, Jing Bai, Anurag Adiraju, Tharun K. Ega, Igor A. Pašti and Olfa Kanoun
Foods 2023, 12(2), 268; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12020268 - 6 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1858
Abstract
Different environmental parameters, such as temperature and humidity, aggravate food spoilage, and different volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are released based on the extent of spoilage. In addition, a lack of efficient monitoring of the dosage of pesticides leads to crop failure. This could [...] Read more.
Different environmental parameters, such as temperature and humidity, aggravate food spoilage, and different volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are released based on the extent of spoilage. In addition, a lack of efficient monitoring of the dosage of pesticides leads to crop failure. This could lead to the loss of food resources and food production with harmful contaminants and a short lifetime. For this reason, precise monitoring of different environmental parameters and contaminations during food processing and storage is a key factor for maintaining its safety and nutritional value. Thus, developing reliable, efficient, cost-effective sensor devices for these purposes is of utmost importance. This paper shows that Poly-(diallyl-dimethyl ammonium chloride)/reduced Graphene oxide (PDAC/rGO) films produced by a simple Layer-by-Layer deposition can be effectively used to monitor temperature, relative humidity, and the presence of volatile organic compounds as indicators for spoilage odors. At the same time, they show potential for electrochemical detection of organophosphate pesticide dimethoate. By monitoring the resistance/impedance changes during temperature and relative humidity variations or upon the exposure of PDAC/rGO films to methanol, good linear responses were obtained in the temperature range of 10–100 °C, 15–95% relative humidity, and 35 ppm–55 ppm of methanol. Moreover, linearity in the electrochemical detection of dimethoate is shown for the concentrations in the order of 102 µmol dm−3. The analytical response to different external stimuli and analytes depends on the number of layers deposited, affecting sensors’ sensitivity, response and recovery time, and long-term stability. The presented results could serve as a starting point for developing advanced multi-modal sensors and sensor arrays with high potential for analytical applications in food safety and quality monitoring. Full article
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24 pages, 949 KiB  
Review
Pesticide Use and Degradation Strategies: Food Safety, Challenges and Perspectives
by Andreja Leskovac and Sandra Petrović
Foods 2023, 12(14), 2709; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12142709 - 15 Jul 2023
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 5800
Abstract
While recognizing the gaps in pesticide regulations that impact consumer safety, public health concerns associated with pesticide contamination of foods are pointed out. The strategies and research directions proposed to prevent and/or reduce pesticide adverse effects on human health and the environment are [...] Read more.
While recognizing the gaps in pesticide regulations that impact consumer safety, public health concerns associated with pesticide contamination of foods are pointed out. The strategies and research directions proposed to prevent and/or reduce pesticide adverse effects on human health and the environment are discussed. Special attention is paid to organophosphate pesticides, as widely applied insecticides in agriculture, veterinary practices, and urban areas. Biotic and abiotic strategies for organophosphate pesticide degradation are discussed from a food safety perspective, indicating associated challenges and potential for further improvements. As food systems are endangered globally by unprecedented challenges, there is an urgent need to globally harmonize pesticide regulations and improve methodologies in the area of food safety to protect human health. Full article
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