content tagged as Food Microbiology

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Nanotechnology has the potential to revolutionize global agricultural and food systems in numerous ways, and can provide promising insights into potential applications for pathogenic control in food as well as disease treatment in food-producing animals and agricultural plants.

The prevalence of diverse, potentially harmful contaminants in food requires our continual attention. Foodborne diseases are caused by ingesting bacteria, fungi, parasites, or viruses through contaminated food or water, or via person-to-person contact. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that foodborne diseases cause approximately 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths in the United States each year. The economic impact of five major foodborne bacterial pathogens was estimated to be $6.9 billion in 2000. Due to ever increasing trends in food safety, food manufacturers should take sanitary/ hygienic processes into key consideration. Minimizing the attachment of spoilage and pathogenic organisms to the surface of food processing equipment is one of the major challenges in the fields of food science and biosafety.

The effectiveness of antibiotics has been challenged by the occurrence of dangerous infections that antibiotics can no longer treat, as pathogens are developing resistance to the drugs. There is thus a compelling need to develop mitigation strategies based on the nanotechnology for antimicrobial resistant microorganism in food animals. Modern day agriculture requires extensive application of pesticides and agricultural biocides for preventing and treating microbial origin diseases, vector-borne diseases and other seasonal diseases. Specifically, yield loss in food crop production would have a significant effect on both food availability and food prices thereby directly affecting the global hunger levels. However, wide use of these biocides in the past few decades has resulted in accumulation of copper residues at alarming levels in the soil and in surrounding ecosystem. Strong motivation exists on improving efficacy of current Cu bactericide/fungicide through nanoscale engineering.

The proposed session will help build a diverse community committed to advancing work in the area of nanotechnology for agriculture and food systems, leading to novel ideas and approaches to create a sustainable and safe future. In appreciation of the above multidisciplinary nature, a diverse range of invited speakers will present a comprehensive vision of critical and emerging nanotechnology research advances across the field of agricultural sciences including animals, crops, and food processing, including: (1) development of nanotechnology based self-sanitizing surfaces for the control of human norovirus; (2) nano-engineered surfaces for prevention of microbes and biofilm; (3) copper and zinc based nanoformulations for controlling citrus canker and bacterial spot of tomatoes; and (4) engineering and in vivo evaluation of chitosan-based nanoparticles as alternative antimicrobial agents in food producing animals.
The 2016 global retail value of the probiotic market was estimated to be $39.9 billion; $4.3 billion was attributed to dietary supplements. With 38% growth expected between 2016 and 2021, this sector can drive incremental sales of many different food products formulated to contain probiotics. Hence, food product developers are increasingly paying attention. The most critical information for producers, formulators, and consumers is the number and identity of the organisms present, with the physiological state of those organisms recently starting to become of interest. Traditional enumeration adds many days and associated inventory costs to the probiotic product supply chain. Flow cytometry has recently migrated from the clinical laboratory into the probiotic space, where it is increasingly being used to address manufacturers’, formulators’, and consumers’ needs for rapid and accurate enumeration of probiotic organisms.

This symposium will explore trends in the rapidly growing probiotics marketplace and the impact of those trends on the food industry generally, along with the industry’s perception of testing needed to support this rapidly growing market. The technology of flow cytometry will be explained, with examples of how it can better address the needs of these food and food-related sectors than traditional microbiological methods. Finally, a case study on instrument and matrix validations will introduce the use of flow cytometry for enumeration of probiotics products and describe some of the technical challenges overcome in applying this technology to foods. The audience will leave with a clearer picture of opportunities for probiotic product development and a clearer picture of the latest technology available for managing probiotic quality.
This session will explore novel findings and methods used to study the microbial ecology of meat production, specifically, the microbiome during multiple segments of meat production. This includes considerations of pathogenic bacteria, microbial resistance, and spoilage bacteria. Studies of the microbiome are possible due to recent collections of large amounts of microbial sequencing data. This sequencing data may be used for bioinformatic tools to analyze and interpret data to identify and quantify bacterial species. There are, however, several considerations related with sampling and interpretation of this data. In addition to sharing recent results in this area. Speakers will provide background about this emerging approach and the important parameters that must be considered around producing and interpreting microbial ecological data.