Special Issue "Microbes and Food"

A special issue of Microorganisms (ISSN 2076-2607). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Microbiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 July 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Giuseppe Comi

Department of Food Science, University of Udine, Via Sondrio, 2/a, 33100 Udine, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +39 3389918561
Fax: +39-432-558-130
Interests: food microorganisms; spoilage; safety; hygiene; natural antimicrobial compounds; starters; food bioprotection and improvement; fermented foods and beverages; microbial ecology; toxin and mycotoxin; biomolecular methods

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Microorganisms for food improvement and safety are the most widespread and widely studied. In particular, studies in the ecology of microorganisms by molecular methods have increased in order to find out their importance regarding spoiling, safety or ripening of food products. Every food has indexes of freshness, quality, and technological problems due to microorganisms. Studies on public health issues and on particular microorganisms and opportunistic pathogens are necessary to determine food hygienic quality. Research and selections of microorganisms as a starter for fermentations or bioprotections of food are of great interest to improve their sensorial characteristics and safety. Food production needs fast and simple methods to detect the hygienic quality of food. Consequently, biomolecular methods represent a real answer to this request. Finally, the studies of activity of probiotic lactic acid bacteria and yeasts are necessary to combat nutritional defects and microbial diseases.

This Special Issue will publish papers on all aspects of microorganisms activity in food.

Prof. Giuseppe Comi
Guest Editor

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. Microorganisms 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 1000 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

  • spoilage
  • food production
  • food safety
  • starter cultures
  • interactions yeast/bacteria
  • mycotoxin and moulds
  • new and old food pathogens

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Effect of Non-Dairy Food Matrices on the Survival of Probiotic Bacteria during Storage
Microorganisms 2017, 5(3), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms5030043
Received: 29 June 2017 / Revised: 24 July 2017 / Accepted: 27 July 2017 / Published: 1 August 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (249 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The viability of probiotics in non-dairy food products during storage is required to meet content criteria for probiotic products. This study investigated whether non-dairy foods could be matrices for probiotics. Selected probiotic bacteria were coated on non-dairy foods under two storage conditions, and [...] Read more.
The viability of probiotics in non-dairy food products during storage is required to meet content criteria for probiotic products. This study investigated whether non-dairy foods could be matrices for probiotics. Selected probiotic bacteria were coated on non-dairy foods under two storage conditions, and viabilities were assessed. The non-dairy foods were coated with 5–7 log cfu g−1 of Lactobacillus acidophilus ATCC4356T, Lactobacillus plantarum RC30, and Bifidobacterium longum ATCC15707T. The coated non-dairy foods were stored at 20 °C and 20% relative humidity (RH) or 30 °C and 50% RH. Viability of probiotic bacteria was determined after 0, 2, and 4 weeks of storage. B. longum showed the highest survival at week 4 of 6.5–6.7 log cfu g−1 on wheat bran and oat, compared with 3.7–3.9 log cfu g−1 of L. acidophilus and 4.2–4.8 log cfu g−1 of L. plantarum at 20 °C 20% RH. Under the storage conditions of 30 °C 50% RH, survival of 4.5 log cfu g−1 of B. longum was also found on oat and peanut. This was two and four times higher than the population of L. acidophilus and L. plantarum, respectively. The results suggest that probiotics can survive on non-dairy foods under ambient storage conditions. However, the storage conditions, food matrices, and probiotic strains should be carefully chosen to maximize probiotic bacteria survival. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbes and Food)
Open AccessArticle Effects of Dietary Yogurt on the Healthy Human Gastrointestinal (GI) Microbiome
Microorganisms 2017, 5(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms5010006
Received: 15 December 2016 / Revised: 31 January 2017 / Accepted: 9 February 2017 / Published: 15 February 2017
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1353 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The gastrointestinal (GI) tract performs key functions that regulate the relationship between the host and the microbiota. Research has shown numerous benefits of probiotic intake in the modulation of immune responses and human metabolic processes. However, unfavorable attention has been paid to temporal [...] Read more.
The gastrointestinal (GI) tract performs key functions that regulate the relationship between the host and the microbiota. Research has shown numerous benefits of probiotic intake in the modulation of immune responses and human metabolic processes. However, unfavorable attention has been paid to temporal changes of the microbial composition and diversity of the GI tract. This study aimed to investigate the effects of yogurt consumption on the GI microbiome bacteria community composition, structure and diversity during and after a short-term period (42 days). We used a multi-approach combining classical fingerprinting techniques (T-RFLPs), Sanger analyses and Illumina MiSeq 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing to elucidate bacterial communities and Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria populations within healthy adults that consume high doses of yogurt daily. Results indicated that overall GI microbial community and diversity was method-dependent, yet we found individual specific changes in bacterial composition and structure in healthy subjects that consumed high doses of yogurt throughout the study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbes and Food)
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Open AccessArticle Microbiological Quality of Fresh Nopal Juice
Microorganisms 2016, 4(4), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms4040046
Received: 24 October 2016 / Revised: 22 November 2016 / Accepted: 1 December 2016 / Published: 10 December 2016
PDF Full-text (1241 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The consumption of fresh nopal cactus juice is widely popular among health-conscious consumers in Mexico. The juice is prepared from fresh cladodes that have only been rinsed with tap water and are not subjected to a pasteurization or terminal bacterial reduction process. The [...] Read more.
The consumption of fresh nopal cactus juice is widely popular among health-conscious consumers in Mexico. The juice is prepared from fresh cladodes that have only been rinsed with tap water and are not subjected to a pasteurization or terminal bacterial reduction process. The aim of this study was to evaluate the microbial quality of commercially available fresh juices (n = 162) made with nopal in Texcoco, State of Mexico, during the summer and spring season. Standard microbiological methods, the PCR technique and the serological method were used for isolation and identification of bacteria. All samples contained total coliforms and 91% were positive for Escherichia coli. Although total coliforms and E. coli were detected throughout the study, their populations were significantly lower (p < 0.05) in winter and spring, respectively. Citrobacter youngae was found in 20% of the samples, an unidentified species of Citrobacter in 10%, C. freundii and Proteus mirabilis in 3%, and Salmonella Javiana in 1%. The presence of these microorganisms, especially Salmonella, in the nopal juices is unacceptable due to its health significance. The information generated in this study is relevant for human health risk assessment associated with the consumption of unpasteurized nopal juices and potential interventions to minimize pathogen contamination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbes and Food)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Bacterial Contaminants of Poultry Meat: Sources, Species, and Dynamics
Microorganisms 2017, 5(3), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms5030050
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 17 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 25 August 2017
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (439 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the constant increase in poultry meat consumption worldwide and the large variety of poultry meat products and consumer demand, ensuring the microbial safety of poultry carcasses and cuts is essential. In the present review, we address the bacterial contamination of poultry meat [...] Read more.
With the constant increase in poultry meat consumption worldwide and the large variety of poultry meat products and consumer demand, ensuring the microbial safety of poultry carcasses and cuts is essential. In the present review, we address the bacterial contamination of poultry meat from the slaughtering steps to the use-by-date of the products. The different contamination sources are identified. The contaminants occurring in poultry meat cuts and their behavior toward sanitizing treatments or various storage conditions are discussed. A list of the main pathogenic bacteria of concern for the consumer and those responsible for spoilage and waste of poultry meat is established. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbes and Food)
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Open AccessReview Filamentous Fungal Human Pathogens from Food Emphasising Aspergillus, Fusarium and Mucor
Microorganisms 2017, 5(3), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms5030044
Received: 23 May 2017 / Revised: 28 July 2017 / Accepted: 28 July 2017 / Published: 2 August 2017
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (241 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Disease caused by filamentous fungal human pathogens (FFHP) is increasing. These organisms cause severe mycoses in immunosuppressed individuals, such as those: (a) with AIDS; (b) having undergone transplantation; and/or (c) undergoing chemotherapy. Immunocompetent people can become infected. Some FFHP are isolated from foods [...] Read more.
Disease caused by filamentous fungal human pathogens (FFHP) is increasing. These organisms cause severe mycoses in immunosuppressed individuals, such as those: (a) with AIDS; (b) having undergone transplantation; and/or (c) undergoing chemotherapy. Immunocompetent people can become infected. Some FFHP are isolated from foods which may be fomites. However, the information concerning particular species on specific food is large, dispersed and difficult to obtain. Reports of filamentous fungi from food/crops and causing human disease are frequently only available in the literature of food mycology/plant pathology and medical mycology, respectively: it is seldom cross-referenced. Aspergillus contains some species with strains that are the most dangerous FFHP, with Aspergillus fumigatus causing the most serious diseases. Fusarium and Mucor also contain species of high importance and approximately 15 other genera are involved. A checklist and database of FFHP species isolated from food is presented herein with emphasis on Aspergillus, Fusarium and Mucor in summary tables to increase awareness of the connection between food and FFHP. Metadata on all FFHP is provided in a large supplementary table for updating and revision when necessary. Previous names of fungi have been revised to reflect current valid usage whenever appropriate. The information will form a foundation for future research and taxonomic revisions in the field. The paper will be highly useful for medical practitioners, food mycologists, fungal taxonomists, patients, regulators and food producers interested in reducing infectious diseases and producing high quality food. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbes and Food)
Open AccessReview Diversity and Control of Spoilage Fungi in Dairy Products: An Update
Microorganisms 2017, 5(3), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms5030042
Received: 10 July 2017 / Revised: 24 July 2017 / Accepted: 25 July 2017 / Published: 28 July 2017
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (1110 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fungi are common contaminants of dairy products, which provide a favorable niche for their growth. They are responsible for visible or non-visible defects, such as off-odor and -flavor, and lead to significant food waste and losses as well as important economic losses. Control [...] Read more.
Fungi are common contaminants of dairy products, which provide a favorable niche for their growth. They are responsible for visible or non-visible defects, such as off-odor and -flavor, and lead to significant food waste and losses as well as important economic losses. Control of fungal spoilage is a major concern for industrials and scientists that are looking for efficient solutions to prevent and/or limit fungal spoilage in dairy products. Several traditional methods also called traditional hurdle technologies are implemented and combined to prevent and control such contaminations. Prevention methods include good manufacturing and hygiene practices, air filtration, and decontamination systems, while control methods include inactivation treatments, temperature control, and modified atmosphere packaging. However, despite technology advances in existing preservation methods, fungal spoilage is still an issue for dairy manufacturers and in recent years, new (bio) preservation technologies are being developed such as the use of bioprotective cultures. This review summarizes our current knowledge on the diversity of spoilage fungi in dairy products and the traditional and (potentially) new hurdle technologies to control their occurrence in dairy foods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbes and Food)
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