Food Microbiology

Published by Elsevier
Online ISSN: 1095-9998
Print ISSN: 0740-0020
Some species of molds are capable of degrading sorbic acid to produce 1,3-pentadiene, a volatile compound with an unpleasant hydrocarbon-like odor. The effectiveness of reduced concentrations of sorbate, in combination with other antimycotics, to control the growth of these molds has not been described. We did a study to evaluate potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, calcium propionate, disodium ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), and natamycin, alone and in combination, for their effectiveness in preventing the growth of five molds isolated from Parmesan cheese and a lemon-flavored drink subjectively judged to contain 1,3-pentadiene. Growth of Penicillium brevicompactum, Penicillium roqueforti, Paecilomyces variotii, Aspergillus niger, and Cephaloascus fragrans on model agar media containing Parmesan cheese (PRM agar) (pH 5.5) and lemon-flavored drink (LD agar) (pH 2.6) supplemented with antimycotics was studied. All molds grew well at 21 °C on PRM agar containing potassium sorbate (3500 μg/ml), calcium propionate (3000 μg/ml), or natamycin (20 μg/ml). Combinations of potassium sorbate (250-1000 μg/ml), calcium propionate (250-1000 μg/ml), and/or natamycin (10-18 μg/ml) greatly inhibited or prevented growth of molds on PRM agar, indicating their potential as preservative systems at pH values resulting in large percentages of the acids in dissociated forms. Three of the five molds grew on LD agar containing potassium sorbate or sodium benzoate at a concentration of 200 μg/ml. Growth did not occur within 70 days on LD agar containing EDTA (30 μg/ml) in combination with potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate at 50 and 175 μg/ml, respectively, or 175 and 50 μg/ml, respectively. Results of this study show that preservative systems containing a reduced concentration of potassium sorbate, in combination with other antimycotics, particularly natamycin, have potential for controlling the growth of molds thought to be capable of producing 1,3-pentadiene.
Recently, it was affirmed that the exopolysaccharides (EPSs) of Lactobacillus curvatus TMW 1.624, Lactobacillus reuteri TMW 1.106 and Lactobacillus animalis TMW 1.971 improve the quality of gluten-free breads and that they can be produced in situ to levels enabling baking applications. In this study we provide insight into the molecular and biochemical background of EPS production of these three strains. EPS formation strongly correlated with growth and took place during the exponential phase. Gtf genes were heterologously expressed, purified and their enzymatic properties as well as the structures of the EPSs formed were compared. Structural comparison of EPS formed by heterologously expressed glucosyltransferases (Gtfs) and of those formed by the wildtype lactobacilli confirmed that the respective genes/enzymes were identified and examined. The glucan formed by L. animalis Gtf was identified as a linear low molecular weight dextran. Optimal enzymatic conditions were pH 4.4 and 45 °C for the L. reuteri Gtf and pH 4.4 and 31 °C for L. curvatus Gtf. The Gtf from L. animalis had an optimal pH of 5.8 and displayed more than 50% of activity over a broad temperature profile (22-59 °C). The three Gtfs were stimulated by various mono- and divalent metal ions, dextran, as well as levan to different extents.
Water kefir is a home made fermented beverage based on a sucrose solution with fruit extracts. The inoculum of such fermentations consists of macroscopic granula containing lactic and acetic acid bacteria, and yeasts, which are embedded in an exopolysaccharide (EPS) matrix. In this work, a strain of Lactobacillus hilgardii producing large amounts of the granule-forming dextran could be isolated. The glycosyltransferans (Gtf) commonly called glucansucrase responsible for the production of this dextran was purified from L. hilgardii. Characteristic enzyme kinetic data were obtained. Optimum activity was observed between pH 4.3 and 4.6 and temperatures between 40 degrees C and 45 degrees C. A Michaelis-Menten kinetic could be fit to the experimental data and a K(M) of 0.0385 M was calculated. The corresponding gtf gene was identified and characterized. It encodes a 1448 amino acid protein with higher homologies to Gtfs of Lactobacillus parabuchneri, Lactobacillus sakei and Lactobacillus fermentum followed by lower homologies to Lactobacillus reuteri Gtfs. By knockout experiments the role of this gene in granule dextran production was demonstrated.
In the present study, we evaluate the recommended ISO 10272:2006 versus alternative procedures for Campylobacter enumeration and enrichment in naturally contaminated chicken meat samples (n = 49). Three enrichment media were evaluated; Bolton broth, Preston broth and CampyFood broth(®) (bioMérieux SA, Marcy l'Etoile, France). In addition, three selective plating agars were compared; modified charcoal cefoperazone deoxycholate agar (mCCDA), CampyFood agar(®) (CFA; bioMérieux SA) and Brilliance CampyCount agar(®) (BCC; Oxoid, Basingstoke, England). Direct plating on CFA provided the highest number of Campylobacter positive samples (17/49); however this was not statistically different (P > 0.05) from numbers of positive samples recovered by direct plating on mCCDA (15/49) or BCC agars (14/49). Also, there was no significant difference between Campylobacter counts on the three compared media (P > 0.05). The coloured colonies of Campylobacter on CFA and BCC were easier to record and count than those on mCCDA. Enrichment of chicken meat samples in Bolton broth for 48 h and subsequent plating on CFA provided significantly higher (P < 0.05) Campylobacter detection compared to the other broth-agar combinations. Enrichment in Preston broth for 24 h followed by plating on mCCDA gave a higher number of positive samples (20/49) than 48 h enrichment in Bolton broth and plating on mCCDA (15/49). Enrichment in Bolton broth for 48 h followed by plating on CFA recovered 35% of samples below the limit for quantifications (<10 CFU/g, n = 34), as identified by direct plating on mCCDA. Compared to the current ISO method, some alternative combinations of enrichment and agar media could provide significantly better detection and enumeration of Campylobacter in chicken meat.
Pig carcass swabs (n = 254) and minced meat samples (n = 82) were examined for pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica using different routinely used enrichment protocols. All samples were obtained in the context of the official Yersinia monitoring program in Belgium. In total, 28 carcasses (11.0%) were contaminated with Y. enterocolitica bioserotype 4/O:3 and one (0.4%) with bioserotype 2/O:9. Four minced meat samples (4.9%) tested positive for Y. enterocolitica bioserotype 4/O:3. Using the ISO 10273:2003 method, eight out of the 29 Yersinia-positive carcasses (27.6%) and none of the contaminated minced meat samples (0.0%) were detected. Reducing the enrichment time in PSB from 5 to 2 days increased the number of positive samples. Overall, enrichment in PSB at 25 °C recovered more positive carcasses and minced meat samples than selective enrichment and cold enrichment. As the exclusive use of the ISO 10273:2003 method results in a strong underestimation of Y. enterocolitica positive carcasses and minced meats, efforts are needed to optimize the current version of the ISO method. In addition, isolation of pathogenic Y. enterocolitica requires experience and the use of a stereomicroscope to avoid false negative results.
Two lactic acid bacteria, Lactobacillus sakei subsp. carnosus (10A) and lactocin S producing Lactobacillus sakei 148 (LS5), were examined for their usefulness as protective culture in the biopreservation of cooked meat products. Co-culture experiments on a model cooked ham (MCH) between 10A or LS5 and a cocktail of three Listeria monocytogenes strains were performed to examine the influence of inoculum level (10(5) vs. 10(6)cfu/g), storage temperature (4 vs. 7 degrees C) and packaging type (vacuum-packaging vs. modified atmosphere-packaging). At 7 degrees C, applying Lactobacillus sakei 10A at 10(6) cfu/g limited the growth of Listeria monocytogenes to <1 log(10) cfu/g during 27 days, whilst an application level of 10(5) cfu/g failed to prevent growth to unacceptable levels. Lactobacillus sakei LS5 did not demonstrate an antagonistic effect towards Listeria monocytogenes. Lowering the temperature to 4 degrees C or switching from vacuum-packaging to modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) did not influence the ability of strain 10A to grow on the MCH, as its dominance did not change. A combination of strain 10A and 4 degrees C or a MAP containing 50% CO(2) completely inhibited the growth of Listeria monocytogenes. Sensory assessments and pH measurements confirmed that 10A, even when present at a high level for prolonged storage times, did not acidify the cooked ham to a point of sensory rejection.
The effect of sucrose on the fermentation balance of Lactobacillus reuteri CRL 1100 and the invertase activity of this strain in wheat dough and culture medium (MRSs) was evaluated. The enzyme activity was dependent on the environmental pH releasing glucose and fructose from sucrose hydrolysis. Glucose was used as carbon source, while fructose was mainly used as electron acceptor to produce mannitol up to 10h of fermentation. Thereafter, fructose seemed to be metabolized by the heterofermentative pathway, which determined an increase in the concentration of acetate (6 mmol l(-1)), lactate (2 mmol l(-1)) and ethanol (1 mmol l(-1)) and the lack of mannitol formation after glucose depletion. The fermentation balance of Lb. reuteri CRL 1100 during the dough fermentation resulted in lower (63%) ethanol, higher (75%) acetate production and soluble carbohydrates concentrations, like MRSs cultures. This fermentation profile would be important to obtain an optimal growth of yeast and the optimal bread flavor and taste.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the change in resistance of biofilm and planktonic food spoilage lactic acid bacteria (LAB) to environmental stresses, which strongly inhibit bacterial growth and are important in food preservation or in disinfection. The stress responses of biofilm and planktonic cells of Lactobacillus plantarum subsp. plantarum JCM 1149, which was used as a model spoilage bacterium, in various organic acids (namely, acetic acid, citric acid, lactic acid, and malic acid), ethanol, and sodium hypochlorite, were investigated using survival tests. The bacterial cells in biofilms showed greater resistance to all treatments than the planktonic bacterial cells in either the stationary or logarithmic phase. The planktonic bacterial cells showed reduced resistance to acetic acid after the cell suspension was diluted; however, intriguingly, the bacterial cells in biofilms maintained their resistance to acetic acid even after they were suspended or the cell suspension was diluted. These findings suggested the risk for food spoilage due to LAB derived from biofilms and suspended or diluted in foods, and demonstrated the importance of controlling biofilms of LAB in the food industry.
This study points out the limitations of several general growth media frequently used in seafood research by a systematic identification of the microorganisms on fish samples during ice storage unable to grow on those media. Aerobic psychrotrophic count (APC), replication on various general media and total cultivable microbial community denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis revealed that many potential spoilage microorganisms were overlooked. Those microorganisms overlooked by using only one single growth medium were identified by partial 16S rRNA gene and gyrB gene sequencing. Members of the genera Shewanella, Vibrio, Aliivibrio, Photobacterium, Pseudoalteromonas and Psychrobacter, including Photobacterium phosphoreum, Shewanella baltica and Pseudomonas fluorescens are unable to grow on PCA. APC analysis also confirmed that on plate count agar (PCA) the enumeration of the microbiota was underestimated. Although Long and Hammer agar (LH) and marine agar (MA) obtained the best quantitative (APC analysis) and qualitative (replication and DGGE analyses) results for fish quality analysis, analysts have to keep in mind that some species were also unable to grow on those media, such as Pseudomonas fragi and Acinetobacter sp.
The arginine deiminase (ADI) pathway is a means by which certain sourdough lactic acid bacteria (LAB) convert arginine into ornithine via citrulline while producing ammonia and ATP, thereby coping with acid stress and gaining an energetic advantage. Lactobacillus fermentum IMDO 130101, an isolate from a spontaneous laboratory rye sourdough, possesses an ADI pathway which is modulated by environmental pH. In the present study, a broader view of the activity of the ADI pathway in response to growth under two other commonly encountered stress factors, temperature and added salt, was obtained. In both cases, an increase in ornithine production was observed as a response to growth under both temperature and salt stress conditions. Biokinetic parameters were obtained to describe the kinetics of the ADI pathway as a function of temperature and added salt. The arginine conversion rate increased as a function of added NaCl concentrations but was hardly affected by temperature. In addition, arginine-into-citrulline conversion rate was not affected by temperature but increased with increasing NaCl concentrations. Citrulline-into-ornithine conversion rate increased with increasing temperature, while it dropped to zero with added salt. These findings suggest a more pronounced adaptation of the strain through the ADI pathway to added salt, as compared with different constant temperatures. Furthermore, these results suggest that the ADI pathway in L. fermentum IMDO 130101 is active in adapting to non-optimal growth conditions.
In the present study, Cronobacter sakazakii, a foodborne pathogen, was first subjected to heat shock at 47 °C for 15 min. Effect of heat shock on the fatty acid and protein profiles, carbon and nitrogen source requirements as well as the susceptibilities of C. sakazakii to Clidox-S, a chlorine-containing disinfectant and Quatricide, a quaternary ammonium compound were investigated. Results revealed that heat shock increased the proportion of myristic acid (14:0), palmitic acid (16:0) and the ratio of saturated fatty acid to unsaturated fatty acid, while reducing the proportion of palmitoleic acid (16:1) and cis-vacceric acid (18:1). In addition, eleven proteins showed enhanced expression, while one protein showed decreased expression in the heat-shocked compared to the non-heat-shocked cells. Non-heat-shocked cells in the medium supplemented with beef extract exhibited the highest maximum population. On the contrary, the highest maximum population of heat-shocked C. sakazakii was noted in the medium having either tryptone or yeast extract as the nitrogen source. Among the various carbon sources examined, the growth of the test organism, regardless of heat shock, was greatest in the medium having glucose as the carbon source. Furthermore, heat shock enhanced the resistance of C. sakazakii to Clidox-S or Quatricide.
Streptococcus thermophilus is a thermophilic lactic acid bacterium which is used as the starter organism for the fermentation of yoghurt and some cheese. In the present study, S. thermophilus BCRC 14085 was subjected to cold shock treatment by exposure at 10 °C for 2 h. The effect of cold shock on the susceptibility of S. thermophilus in subsequent lethal stress environments such as simulated gastric juice (pH 2.0-3.0), bile solution (2.0%) and various organic acids (0.75 M, pH 3.5) including propionic, lactic, acetic, citric and tartaric acid was investigated. In addition, the survival of cold-shocked and non-shocked S. thermophilus exposed to disinfectants, Clidox-S and Quatricide, were compared. Results revealed that cold shock enhanced the tolerance of S. thermophilus in the presence of simulated gastric juice (pH 2.5 and 2.8), while in bile solution, the population increase of cold-shocked cells is higher than that of non-shocked cells after 12 h of incubation. Furthermore, the susceptibility of S. thermophilus, regardless of cold shock, to organic acid varied with the kinds of organic acid examined. The cold-shocked S. thermophilus showed a significantly less survival (P < 0.05) than that of the non-shocked cells when exposed to lactic or acetic acid. Furthermore, cold shock reduced the survival of S. thermophilus when exposed to Quatricide but not Clidox-S.
Sorbic acid (SA) is widely used as a preservative, but the effect of SA on spore germination and outgrowth has gained limited attention up to now. Therefore, the effect of sorbic acid on germination of spores of Bacillus cereus strain ATCC 14579 was analyzed both at phenotype and transcriptome level. Spore germination and outgrowth were assessed at pH 5.5 without and with 0.75, 1.5 and 3.0 mM (final concentrations) undissociated sorbic acid (HSA). This resulted in distinct HSA concentration-dependent phenotypes, varying from reduced germination and outgrowth rates to complete blockage of germination at 3.0 mM HSA. The phenotypes reflecting different stages in the germination process could be confirmed using flow cytometry and could be recognized at transcriptome level by distinct expression profiles. In the absence and presence of 0.75 and 1.5 mM HSA, similar cellular ATP levels were found up to the initial stage of outgrowth, suggesting that HSA-induced inhibition of outgrowth is not caused by depletion of ATP. Transcriptome analysis revealed the presence of a limited number of transcripts in dormant spores, outgrowth related expression, and genes specifically associated with sorbic acid stress, including alterations in cell envelope and multidrug resistance. The potential role of these HSA-stress associated genes in spore outgrowth is discussed.
In the present study, a solid state fermentation of black soybeans with Bacillus subtilis BCRC 14715 was performed. The effect of fermentation on the changes of total phenolic and flavonoid content and antioxidant activities including 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical-scavenging effect, and Fe(2+)-chelating ability exerted by various solvent (water, 80% methanol, 80% ethanol, 80% acetone) extracts of black soybeans was examined. It was found that fermentation enhanced the total phenolic and flavonoid content as well as antioxidant activity of the black soybean extract. Among the various extracts examined, the acetone extract of fermented black soybeans showed the highest total phenolic and flavonoid content. The acetone extract and the methanol extract of fermented black soybeans showed the highest DPPH free radical-scavenging effect and Fe(2+)-chelating ability, respectively. Analysis of extraction yields showed that the active principle associated with the DPPH radical-scavenging effect was most efficiently extracted from black soybeans using water, regardless of fermentation. Water and methanol effectively extract the Fe(2+)-chelating principles from non-fermented and fermented black soybeans, respectively.
Use of 16S rRNA partial gene sequencing within the regulatory workflow could greatly reduce the time and labor needed for confirmation and subtyping of Listeria monocytogenes. The goal of this study was to build a 16S rRNA partial gene reference library for Listeria spp. and investigate the potential for 16S rRNA molecular subtyping. A total of 86 isolates of Listeria representing L. innocua, L. seeligeri, L. welshimeri, and L. monocytogenes were obtained for use in building the custom library. Seven non-Listeria species and three additional strains of Listeria were obtained for use in exclusivity and food spiking tests. Isolates were sequenced for the partial 16S rRNA gene using the MicroSeq ID 500 Bacterial Identification Kit (Applied Biosystems). High-quality sequences were obtained for 84 of the custom library isolates and 23 unique 16S sequence types were discovered for use in molecular subtyping. All of the exclusivity strains were negative for Listeria and the three Listeria strains used in food spiking were consistently recovered and correctly identified at the species level. The spiking results also allowed for differentiation beyond the species level, as 87% of replicates for one strain and 100% of replicates for the other two strains consistently matched the same 16S type.
Investigation of the initial and spoilage microbial diversity of iced stored sea bream was carried out. Culture dependent methods were used for bacterial enumeration and phenotypic identification of bacterial isolates, while culture independent methods, using bacterial 16S rRNA gene amplification, cloning and sequencing of DNA extracted directly from the flesh were also employed. The culture dependent approach revealed that the initial microbiota was dominated by Acinetobacter, Shewanella, Pseudomonas and Flavobacterium, while at the end of shelf-life determined by sensory analysis (16 days), the predominant microbiota was Pseudomonas and Shewanella. Culture independent approach showed that initially the sea bream flesh was strongly dominated by Acinetobacter, while Pseudomonas, Aeromonas salmonicida and Shewanella were the predominant phylotypes at the end of shelf-life. Initial and spoilage microbiota comprised of phylotypes previously identified by others using traditional or molecular techniques. However, Aeromonas has not been reported as part of the dominant microbiota of sea bream at the time of spoilage. Combination of classical and molecular methodologies better reveals the microbiota during storage by revealing bacteria that escape standard approaches and, thus, provides valuable complementary information regarding microbiological spoilage.
The aim of this work was to evaluate restriction fragment melting curve analyses (RFMCA) as a novel approach for rapid classification of bacteria during food production. RFMCA was evaluated for bacteria isolated from sous vide food products, and raw materials used for sous vide production. We identified four major bacterial groups in the material analysed (cluster I-Streptococcus, cluster II-Carnobacterium/Bacillus, cluster III-Staphylococcus and cluster IV-Actinomycetales). The accuracy of RFMCA was evaluated by comparison with 16S rDNA sequencing. The strains satisfying the RFMCA quality filtering criteria (73%, n=57), with both 16S rDNA sequence information and RFMCA data (n=45) gave identical group assignments with the two methods. RFMCA enabled rapid and accurate classification of bacteria that is database compatible. Potential application of RFMCA in the food or pharmaceutical industry will include development of classification models for the bacteria expected in a given product, and then to build an RFMCA database as a part of the product quality control.
It is not well understood why Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) has longer shelf-life than most other white fish species. Our approach was to examine the microbiological diversity of the spoilage microbiota during modified atmosphere (MA) packaging of farmed Atlantic halibut. Portions were packaged with gas mixtures of CO(2):N(2) and CO(2):O(2) (50%:50%) and with air as a reference. The packages were stored at 4 degrees C and samples were taken 6 times during the 23 days of storage. Analyses with molecular techniques (PCR-DGGE) determined profiles of the bacterial populations in the various samples and sequencing detected the bacterial species present. In addition, samples were analysed for microbial, chemical and sensory parameters. The shelf-life was 10-13 days when stored in air and between 13 and 20 days for MA packages, with oxygen-enriched packages suggested as the better gas mixture, based on microbial growth and sensory scores. From sequence analyses of the bacterial population Photobacterium phosphoreum and Pseudomonas spp. were found to dominate in the halibut. Brochothrix thermosphacta was found in most samples at the end of the storage period. Shewanella putrefaciens was found sporadically and in low concentrations based on microbial methods, but not detected by PCR-DGGE.
Modern lifestyle markedly changed eating habits worldwide, with an increasing demand for ready-to-eat foods, such as minimally processed fruits and leafy greens. Packaging and storage conditions of those products may favor the growth of psychrotrophic bacteria, including the pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. In this work, minimally processed leafy vegetables samples (n = 162) from retail market from Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil, were tested for the presence or absence of Listeria spp. by the immunoassay Listeria Rapid Test, Oxoid. Two L. monocytogenes positive and six artificially contaminated samples of minimally processed leafy vegetables were evaluated by the Most Probable Number (MPN) with detection by classical culture method and also culture method combined with real-time PCR (RTi-PCR) for 16S rRNA genes of L. monocytogenes. Positive MPN enrichment tubes were analyzed by RTi-PCR with primers specific for L. monocytogenes using the commercial preparation ABSOLUTE QPCR SYBR Green Mix (ABgene, UK). Real-time PCR assay presented good exclusivity and inclusivity results and no statistical significant difference was found in comparison with the conventional culture method (p < 0.05). Moreover, RTi-PCR was fast and easy to perform, with MPN results obtained in ca. 48 h for RTi-PCR in comparison to 7 days for conventional method.
Campylobacter jejuni is an important foodborne gastrointestinal pathogen and highly sensitive to environmental stresses. Research has shown that changes in culturability, cell morphology, and viability occur when C. jejuni cells are subjected to stresses. In this study, real-time PCR, ethidium monoazide (EMA) in combination with real-time PCR (EMA-PCR), BacLight bacterial viability staining, and agar plate counting methods were used to quantitatively analyze viable, stressed, and dead C. jejuni strain 81-176. The real-time PCR assay provides highly sensitive and specific quantification of total genome copies of C. jejuni culture in different growth phases. Our results also reveal that real-time PCR can be used for direct quantification of Campylobacter genome release into Phosphate Buffered Saline (PBS) as an indicator of cell lysis. Using EMA-PCR, we obtained a dynamic range of greater than 3 logs for differentiating viable vs. dead cells. The viability and morphological characteristics of the stressed cells after one-week incubation at 25 degrees C, in air, and under nutrient-poor conditions were investigated. Our results indicated that, over 99% of the stressed cells were converted from the spiral to the coccoid form and became non-culturable. However, more than 96% of the coccoid cells retained their membrane integrity as suggested by both the BacLight staining and EMA-PCR analyses. Thus, to detect C. jejuni under stress conditions, conventional culturing method in conjunction with EMA-PCR or BacLight staining might be a more appropriate approach.
This review identified fourteen reported illness outbreaks attributed to consumption of pathogen-contaminated spice during the period 1973-2010. Countries reporting outbreaks included Canada, Denmark, England and Wales, France, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Serbia, and the United States. Together, these outbreaks resulted in 1946 reported human illnesses, 128 hospitalizations and two deaths. Infants/children were the primary population segments impacted by 36% (5/14) of spice-attributed outbreaks. Four outbreaks were associated with multiple organisms. Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica was identified as the causative agent in 71% (10/14) of outbreaks, accounting for 87% of reported illnesses. Bacillus spp. was identified as the causative agent in 29% (4/10) of outbreaks, accounting for 13% of illnesses. 71% (10/14) of outbreaks were associated with spices classified as fruits or seeds of the source plant. Consumption of ready-to-eat foods prepared with spices applied after the final food manufacturing pathogen reduction step accounted for 70% of illnesses. Pathogen growth in spiced food is suspected to have played a role in some outbreaks, but it was not likely a contributing factor in three of the larger Salmonella outbreaks, which involved low-moisture foods. Root causes of spice contamination included contributions from both early and late stages of the farm-to-table continuum.
Cork taint is mainly due to 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA) produced through the activity of undesirable fungal strains. We observed that CFU mould number in TCA-containing stoppers was not quantitatively different to that of the stoppers not containing TCA (ca. 10(5)CFU/g). In contrast more fungi diversity was observed in TCA-containing stoppers. Penicillium spp (Penicillium chrysogenum, Penicillium glabrum), Aspergillus spp (Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus oryzae), Chrysonilia sitophila, Mucor racemosus, Paecilomyces sp. and Trichoderma viride were found in TCA-containing stoppers, while C. sitophila and Penicillium sp. were the main fungi in the stoppers devoid of TCA. Conidia were numerous close to the lenticels and present from the lateral surface through to the centre of the stoppers. Strains of Aspergillus, Mucor, Paecilomyces, Penicillium and Trichoderma isolated from TCA-containing stoppers were able to convert 2,4,6-trichlorophenol (TCP) in TCA in resting cell or growing conditions. The best yields of conversion were obtained by green fungi Paecilomyces sp. and P. chrysogenum, 17% and 20%, respectively. Chysonilia sitophila and Penicillium sp. did not produce TCA from TCP in our conditions.
Salmonella Schwarzengrund is one of the causative agents of human salmonellosis and animal infections. High prevalence of multidrug resistant strains of S. Schwarzengrund from chicken meat has been recently reported in Taiwan. With an attempt to see if such prevalence in chicken meat was due to the recirculation of S. Schwarzengrund strains in traditional marketplaces, a total of 173 S. Schwarzengrund strains isolated between 2000 and 2005 from 417 retail chicken meat samples purchased from Taipei, Taiwan were analyzed using pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) method. For XbaI and AvrII digested DNA, a total of 23 and 16 PFGE patterns, respectively, were obtained. When these patterns were combined, a total of 47 subtypes were obtained and the major subtypes were X3A2, X1A2 and X2A1. Since it was found that these major subtypes were repeatedly found for multidrug resistant strains collected from 2000 to 2005, we then collected the chicken meat isolates from central and southern Taiwan in 2006. These strains did not show similar major subtypes as those found in Taipei. Such results might also suggest that the repeated appearance of some major subtypes for S. Schwarzengrund strains isolated each year in Taipei was due to the recirculation of these strains in retail marketplace during these years.
This work was undertaken to study the serotypes and pulsotypes of 674 Listeria monocytogenes isolates from human (57), food (558) and environmental (59) sources, collected from different Italian geographical areas during 2002-2005, to determine whether certain subtypes were associated with certain foods and more often involved in cases of listeriosis, and to determine possible geographical or temporal associations. Eleven different L. monocytogenes serotypes were found in the food, environmental and human isolates. Most isolates belonged to only four serotypes (1/2a, 1/2b, 1/2c, 4b). The isolates were divided into 133 distinct AscI pulsotypes grouped into 26 pulsogroups. Pulsogroups ranged from a minimum of 2 up to 212 isolates, and contained 1-19 different pulsotypes. When associations between subtypes and isolates from specific foods selected as being most frequently involved in cases of listeriosis were tested some of these associations were highly significant but not exclusive, indicating that there was no close correlation between specific subtypes and specific food products. Despite the limitations of this study (few human isolates versus many food isolates prevalently collected from one food category), we believe that a large-scale database of L. monocytogenes subtypes and a timely epidemiological investigation can facilitate risk assessment and outbreak detection and control.
The prevalence of Campylobacter and Salmonella was assessed in 3959 raw red meats in the UK during 2003-2005. Meats were more frequently contaminated with Campylobacter (7.2%) than with Salmonella (2.4%). Lamb and other meats (e.g. mutton, rabbit) exhibited the highest contamination from Campylobacter (12.6% and 19.8%, respectively), compared with pork (6.3%) and beef (4.9%). Pork however had the highest contamination from Salmonella (3.9%), followed by lamb (2.0%), other meats (2.0%) and beef (1.3%). Offal samples (36.6%) were more frequently contaminated with Campylobacter or Salmonella than muscle tissue (7.0%). C. jejuni predominated in all meat types. C. coli isolates were more likely to exhibit antimicrobial drug resistance, including quinolones, than C. jejuni. Salmonella typhimurium was the most frequent Salmonella serotype isolated from meats; S. typhimurium DT104/104b isolates exhibited higher rates of multiple drug resistance than other serotypes. The findings reinforce the importance of adequate cooking of meat and good hygiene to avoid cross-contamination.
The aim of this research was to identify the risk factors associated with the transfer of bacterial contamination from the fleece to the ovine carcass thereby providing the scientific basis for the development and validation of a clean sheep policy. Two hundred sheep in lairage were graded into five categories each consisting of 40 sheep. The categories were as follows; (A) clean and dry; (B) clean and wet; (C) dirty and dry; (D) dirty and wet and (E) visible dags (dung-clotted tufts of wool) categorized by the chief veterinary inspector at the slaughter plant based on the visual inspection of the hygienic status of the fleece. Microbiological evaluations of the carcasses were conducted using swab sampling methods. Total viable counts (TVCs), Enterobacteriaceae and coliform counts were obtained from 40 animals per category at four separate sites (brisket, shoulder, flank and rump) immediately after pelt removal. Statistical analysis of TVC data obtained from the carcass indicated that the dirt level of the fleece had a significant effect on contamination levels when the fleece was dry. Enterobacteriaceae and coliform counts suggest that dirt was a contributing risk factor regardless of wetness or dryness of the animal. The clean sheep policy should therefore differentiate between clean and dirty sheep and mandate additional hygiene measures for the latter.
Consumption of foods containing Staphylococcus aureus can cause severe gastro-intestinal illness. Given the fact that over the past decade, Canada has seen increasing rates of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) carriage and infection, the objective of this study was to investigate the impact of methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) and MRSA on foodborne illness in Alberta, Canada. Between January 2007 and December 2010, there were 693 food samples associated with foodborne investigations submitted to the Alberta Provincial Laboratory for Public Health (ProvLab). These foods were screened for: Bacillus cereus, Clostridium perfringens, S. aureus, Aeromonas spp., Campylobacter spp., Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella, Shigella spp., and Yersinia spp. S. aureus was identified in 10.5% (73/693) of samples, and of these, 59% (43/73) were co-contaminated with at least one other organism on the screening panel. The S. aureus positive samples included 29 meat, 20 prepared foods containing meat, 11 prepared foods not containing meat, 10 dairy, and three produce. Methicillin-resistance was not detected in any isolates tested. These findings indicate that the presence of S. aureus in food associated with foodborne investigations is a cause for concern, and although MRSA was not found, the potential for outbreaks exists, and ongoing surveillance should be sustained.
( continued ). 
Dendrograms of XbaI -PFGE analysis (a) and Dendrograms of MLVA analysis (b) of clinical and poultry house isolates of S . Enteritidis generated by BioNumerics software version-6. For the antibiotic susceptibility test (AST), the red color indicates resistance to the corresponding antimicrobials, the green color indicates intermediate susceptibility and light blue color indicates susceptibility. For the detection of virulence genes, the dark blue indicates the presence of the gene while yellow indicates the absence of the gene. The size of any detected plasmids and their identi fi ed replicon types are indicated. (For interpretation of the references to color in this fi gure legend, the reader is referred to the web version of this article.) 
A total of 60 Salmonella enterica serovar (ser.) Enteritidis isolates, 28 from poultry houses and 32 from clinical samples, were isolated during 2010. These isolates were subjected to testing and analyzed for antibiotic resistance, virulence genes, plasmids and plasmid replicon types. To assess genetic diversity, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) fingerprinting, using the XbaI restriction enzyme, Multiple-Locus Variable-Number Tandem Repeat Analysis (MLVA) and plasmid profiles were performed. All isolates from poultry, and 10 out of 32 clinical isolates were sensitive to ampicillin, chloramphenicol, gentamicin, kanamycin, nalidixic acid, sulfisoxazole, streptomycin, and tetracycline. Twenty-one of thirty-two clinical isolates were resistant to ampicillin and tetracycline, and one isolate was resistant to nalidixic acid. PFGE typing of sixty ser. Enteritidis isolates by XbaI resulted in 10-12 bands and grouped into six clusters each with similarity from 95% to 81%. The MLVA analysis of sixty isolates gave 18 allele profiles with the majority of isolates displayed in three groups, and two clinical isolates found to be new in the PulseNet national MLVA database. All isolates were positive for 12 or more of the 17 virulence genes mostly found in S. enterica (spvB, spiA, pagC, msgA, invA, sipB, prgH, spaN, orgA, tolC, iroN, sitC, IpfC, sifA, sopB, and pefA) and negative for one gene (cdtB). All isolates carried a typical 58 kb plasmid, type Inc/FIIA. Three poultry isolates and one clinical isolate carried small plasmids with 3.8, 6, 7.6 and 11.5 kb. Ten of the clinical isolates carried plasmids, with sizes 36 and 38 kb, types IncL/M and IncN, and one isolate carried an 81 kb plasmid, type IncI. Southern hybridization of a plasmid with an Inc/FIIA gene probe hybridized one large 58 kb plasmid in all isolates. Several large and small plasmids from poultry isolates were not typed by our PCR-based method. These results confirmed that PFGE fingerprinting has limited discriminatory power for ser. Enteritidis in both poultry and clinical sources. However, the plasmid and MLVA allele profiles were a useful and important epidemiology tool to discriminate outbreak strains of ser. Enteritidis from poultry and clinical samples.
Eleven Salmonella enterica serovar Bovismorbificans isolates obtained from the U.S. District of Columbia during a 2011 hummus-associated foodborne outbreak were compared to 12 non-outbreak isolates. All isolates from the outbreak demonstrated a single PFGE pattern that was distinctly different from other isolates of S. Bovismorbificans as recorded in the PulseNet Database. Results from molecular analyses of the hummus-associated S. Bovismorbificans isolates indicate that the isolates from the outbreak were unique and have acquired an 80-90 kb plasmid. The impact of this study is that the information gained will add and expand our knowledge of diversity of the S. Bovismorbificans serovar. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
The application of multilocus sequence typing (MLST) for studying Campylobacter jejuni diversity reveals that MLST clonal complex (CC) 21 and CC-45 occupies significant proportion in the diverse population of C. jejuni. These two complexes are ecologically abundant and represent an interesting subpopulation for studying C. jejuni survival under different stress conditions. In the present study we characterize and compare 19 C. jejuni strains assigned to CC-21 and CC-45, isolated from chicken meat, based on laboratory stress models maintained in Muller-Hinton broth. Model conditions were mimicking freeze, chill, oxidative, acid and heat stresses. Results show that survival patterns varied between the strains. C. jejuni strains of CC-21 survived significantly better than C. jejuni strains of CC-45 under heat (P value = 0.022) and chill (P value = 0.001) stress models. On the other hand, C. jejuni strains of CC-45 showed significantly better survival compared to C. jejuni strains of CC-21 in response to oxidative (P value = 0.003) and freeze (P value = 0.021) stress models. C. jejuni strains assigned to the founder ST-45 showed significantly better survival (P value = 0.017) under heat stress model compared to their ancestral sequence types. However, an association between survival fitness and the diversification of a clonal group cannot be demonstrated directly from the obtained results. In conclusion, findings of the present study show that genotypic variations of C. jejuni might play a role in enabling certain lineages to be selected when encountering adverse and stressful environments. In future stress response studies, it is recommended to consider the effect of genotypic diversity among C. jejuni strains as that might bias the experimental findings.
The behaviour of Listeria monocytogenes in a processed cheese product was evaluated over time by inoculating the product with three different L. monocytogenes strains (Scott A, CA and a strain isolated from processed cheese) at three different inoculation levels (ca. 6×105, ca. 6×103 and 102CFU/g of cheese or less) and after storage of the contaminated products at 4, 12 or 22°C. Growth of L. monocytogenes was not observed in any of the experimental trials (experiments involving different combinations of strain, inoculum level and storage temperature) throughout the storage period. L. monocytogenes populations decreased over time with a rate that was strain- and storage temperature-dependent. Nonetheless, for cheeses that had been inoculated with the higher inoculum and stored at 4°C viable populations of L. monocytogenes could be detected for up to nine months post-inoculation. The L. monocytogenes survival curves obtained from the different trials were characterised by a post-inoculation phase during which the populations remained essentially unchanged (lag phase) followed by a phase of logarithmic decline. The duration of the lag phase and the rate of inactivation of L. monocytogenes in the different trials were estimated based on data from the linear descending portions of the survival curves. In addition, a non-linear Weibull-type equation was fitted to the data from each survival curve with satisfactory results. The results of the present study emphasize that, according to the definition laid down in the European Union Regulation 1441/2007, the processed cheese product tested in this work should be considered and classified as one that does not support the growth of L. monocytogenes under reasonable foreseeable conditions of distribution and storage. However, post-processing contamination of the product should be austerely avoided as the pathogen can survive in the product for extended periods of time, particularly under refrigerated storage (4°C).
A novel Podoviridae lactic acid bacteria (LAB) phage from Nham, a Thai fermented pork sausage, is reported. From a total of 36 samples, 41 isolates of LAB were obtained and employed as hosts for the isolation of phages. From these LAB, only one phage, designated Φ 22, was isolated. The lactic acid bacterial isolate named N 22, sensitive to phage Φ 22 infection was identified by an API 50 CHL kit and N 22's complete sequence of the 16S rDNA sequence. BLASTN analysis of the 16S rDNA sequence revealed a 99% similarity to the 16S rDNA sequence of Weissella cibaria in the GenBank database. Electron micrographs indicated that the phage head was icosahedral with head size and tail length of 92 × 50 nm and 27 nm, respectively. On the basis of the morphology, this phage belongs to the family Podoviridae. Host-range determination revealed that the phage Φ 22 was not capable of infecting the other 40 isolates of LAB and referenced Weissella strains used. A one-step growth experiment showed that the latent period and burst size were estimated at 110 min and 55 phage particles/infected cell, respectively. Furthermore, the phage was infective over a wide range of pH (pH 5.0-8.0) and the D time of Φ 22 was calculated as 88 s at 70 °C and 15s at 80 °C. Phage titers decreased below the detection limit (20 PFU/ml) after heating for more than 60s at 80 °C, or 20s at 90 °C or less than 10s at 100 °C. The results from the study of Nham revealed that Φ 22 was active against the potential starter culture (W. cibaria N 22) for Nham fermentation. Phage infection could adversely affect the fermentation process of Nham by delaying acidification when using W. cibaria N 22 as a starter. However, the results from a sensory test revealed that the panelists did not detect any defects in the final products. This is the first report on the isolation of W. cibaria phage.
Dendrogram representing genetic relationships among Salmonella Enteritidis strains based on ERIC-PCR fi ngerprints. Similarity (%) between patterns was calculated from the DICE index and is represented by the numbers beside the nodes. The data were sorted by the UPGMA method. NAL e nalidixic acid, STX e trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, STR e streptomycin. 
Dendrogram representing genetic relationships among Salmonella Enteritidis strains based on PFGE fi ngerprints. Similarity (%) between patterns was calculated from the DICE index and is represented by the numbers beside the nodes. The data were sorted by the UPGMA method. NAL e nalidixic acid, STX e trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, STR e streptomycin. 
Salmonellosis is a major health problem worldwide. Serovar Enteritidis has been a primary cause of Salmonella outbreaks in many countries. In Brazil, few molecular typing studies have been performed. The aims of this study were to molecularly type Salmonella Enteritidis strains isolated in Brazil in order to determine the genetic relationship between strains of food and human origin, as well as, to assess their pathogenic potential and antimicrobial resistance. A total of 128 S. Enteritidis strains isolated from human feces (67) and food (61) between 1986 and 2010 were studied. The genotypic diversity was assessed by ERIC-PCR and PFGE using XbaI, the antimicrobial resistance by the disc-diffusion assay and the presence of the SPI-1, SPI-2 and pSTV virulence genes assessed by PCR. The ERIC-PCR results revealed that 112 strains exhibited a similarity of >85.4% and the PFGE that 96 strains exhibited a similarity of >80.0%. Almost all strains (97.6%) harbored all 13 virulence genes investigated. Thirty-six strains (28.12%) were resistant to nalidixic acid. In conclusion, the nalidixic acid resistance observed after 1996 is indicative of an increase in the use of this drug. It may be suggested that these 128 strains might have descended from a common ancestor that differed little over 24 years and has been both contaminating food and humans and causing disease for more than two decades in Brazil.
Molds are responsible for spoilage of bakery products during storage. A modeling approach to predict the effect of water activity (aw) and temperature on the appearance time of Aspergillus candidus was developed and validated on cakes. The gamma concept of Zwietering was adapted to model fungal growth, taking into account the impact of temperature and aw. We hypothesized that the same model could be used to calculate the time for mycelium to become visible (tv), by substituting the matrix parameter by tv. Cardinal values of A. candidus were determined on potato dextrose agar, and predicted tv were further validated by challenge-tests run on 51 pastries. Taking into account the aw dynamics recorded in pastries during reasonable conditions of storage, high correlation was shown between predicted and observed tv when the aw at equilibrium (after 14 days of storage) was used for modeling (Af = 1.072, Bf = 0.979). Validation studies on industrial cakes confirmed the experimental results and demonstrated the suitability of the model to predict tv in food as a function of aw and temperature.
The growth kinetic parameters of germinated cells from heat-activated spores of the psychrotrophic Bacillus cereus EPSO-35AS strain in nutrient broth (NB) and in tyndallized carrot broth (TCB) were evaluated at different temperatures (8, 12, and 16 degrees C) for control samples and for samples acidified with citric acid or lemon juice at pH values between 4.7 and 5.5. Lowering the pH from 7.4 or 6.2 to 5.2 inhibited bacterial growth in both tested media after 60 days at 12 degrees C and lower temperatures, confirming the effectiveness of acidification in association with refrigeration to control B. cereus proliferation in minimally processed foods (MPFs) based on carrot. The activities of selected concentrations of cinnamon essential oil, cinnamaldehyde, carvacrol, and eugenol against B. cereus EPSO-35AS and INRA TZ415 strains in both media over the same temperature range were also studied. Addition of either cinnamon essential oil or cinnamaldehyde at concentrations of 5 and 2 microL 100mL(-1), respectively, caused complete inhibition of the growth of both psychrotrophic strains even if mild temperature abuse occurred (12 degrees C). Hence, a combination of one of these compounds and refrigerated storage may be useful for preservation of MPFs in which major ingredient was carrot. On the contrary, carvacrol and eugenol were not able to prevent B. cereus growth in TCB during storage at 8 degrees C. Their effects on the organoleptic characteristics of TCB are discussed.
Cells in log phase cultures of Escherichia coli ATCC 23739 and E. coli O157:H7 02:0627 incubated at 6 °C for 8 days grew by elongation and the formation of filaments. When suspensions of cells from the cultures were incubated at 37 °C for 4 h, there was little or no change in mean cell lengths during the first hour of incubation; but subsequently the fractions of elongated (>4 ≤ 10 μm) or filamentous (>10 μm) cells declined with the most cells being of normal size (≤4 μm) after 3 h. LIVE/DEAD BacLight staining indicated that ≥94% of cells were alive after all times at 37 °C. Direct observation of cells on slides incubated at 37 °C, from culture incubated at 6 °C for 5 days, showed that few or no cells of normal size divided. Elongated cells of both strains, and filamentous cells of E. coli ATCC 23739 divided to multiple daughter cells; but filamentous cells of E. coli O157:H7 lysed. The results indicate that abrupt shifts of log phase E. coli from refrigeration to warm temperatures lead to inactivation of some cells and division of others to multiple daughter cells, and suggest that the extents of these opposing responses may vary widely among strains.
The maximum specific growth rate (μ(max)) of Brochothrix thermosphacta, a spoilage bacteria of cooked peeled shrimp, and Lactococcus piscium CNCM I-4031, a bioprotective strain, was investigated under different conditions of temperature, NaCl concentrations and pH. The basic modelling approach used was the Gamma concept (γ-concept) and the model developed was then adapted to shrimp. Cardinal growth parameters were quite similar for the two strains, except for NaCl. No NaCl was required for growth and the NaCl(max) was three-times higher for B. thermosphacta than for L. piscium (62 and 23 g l(-1) respectively). However, tolerance to NaCl was higher in seafood than in liquid broth, possibly due to presence of osmoltically active molecules. L. piscium and B. thermosphacta were psychrotolerant, with T(min) = -4.8 and -3.4 °C, T(opt) = 23.4 and 27.0 °C and T(max) = 27.2 and 30.8 °C respectively. The optimal pH was neutral and growth possible till pH = 4.8 for the two strains, assuming possible applications of the bioprotective strain in lightly marinated seafood. The μ(max) of B. thermosphacta in shrimp was a little higher than in L. piscium whatever the environmental conditions. Validation of the model showed that the γ-concept was suitable for predicting μ(max) of B. thermosphacta in shrimp. Data generated in this study can be used to adapt the model to other foods with few additional experiments and the effect of different parameters may be added in the future. The model was less accurate for the bioprotective strain and the effect of NaCl must be studied in more detail directly in the matrix.
The effect of a bacteriocinogenic Brochothrix campestris ATCC 43754 upon the growth of Brochothrix thermosphacta and a 4 strain mixture of Listeria monocytogenes was determined in All Purpose Tween (APT) broth and on pork adipose tissue discs at 4 degrees C. Inocula were prepared to give initial numbers of B. campestris of 6-7 log cfu/ml or cm(2) and 3-4 log cfu/ml or cm(2) of B. thermosphacta and L. monocytogenes. Adipose tissue discs were evaluated by a sensory panel to determine the intensity and acceptability of any off-odours produced during the growth of B. campestris. During co-culture in APT broth with B. campestris the growth of B. thermosphacta or L. monocytogenes was 4 log cycles less than growth in its absence. B. campestris showed limited growth on inoculated pork adipose tissue, increasing from initial numbers of about 6 log cfu/cm(2) to a maximum of 7 log cfu/cm(2) within 7d. B. campestris at numbers of 7 log cfu/cm(2) produced slight off-odours but these were not perceived by the panel as unacceptable. When co-inoculated on adipose tissue discs with B. campestris the numbers of B. thermosphacta or L. monocytogenes was limited to about 2-3 log units less than the numbers attained in its absence. B. campestris ATCC 43754 may be useful for meat preservation because it can inhibit B. thermosphacta and L. monocytogenes in situ while producing little change in the sensory properties of the product.
This study evaluates the adaptative response to heat (63 °C) and the modifications in membrane fatty acid composition of Salmonella senftenberg after its growth in an acidified medium and after its exposure to combinations of acid and cold stresses. Cells were grown in Brain Heart Infusion (BHI) buffered at pH 7.0 and acidified up to pH 4.5 (fresh cultures) and kept at refrigeration temperature (4 °C) for 7 days (refrigerated cultures). The results indicate that previous adaptation to a low pH increased the bacterial heat resistance, but combinations of sublethal stresses reduced S. senftenberg heat tolerance, specially when the growth medium pH was decreased. Acid-adapted cells showed D63-values ranging from 3.10 to 6.27 min, while non-acid-adapted cells showed D63-values of 1.07 min. As pH decreased, over the pH range studied (7.4–4.5), D63-values of the resulting cells increased. However, refrigerated acid-adapted cells showed lower D63-values, which ranged from 0.95 to 0.49 min. A linear relationship between the thermotolerance of S. senftenberg cells and the previous growth medium pH was found in both fresh and refrigerated cultures, which allowed us to predict changes in heat resistance of S. senftenberg that occur at any pH value within the range used in the present study in which most foodstuffs are included.
Seed sprouts may act as vehicles for foodborne pathogenic bacteria. In the present study, the effect of washing treatment with the enterococcal bacteriocin enterocin AS-48 on the microbiota of two batches of soybean sprouts was studied by culture-dependent and independent methods throughout storage at 10 degrees C. Viable cell counts of bacteriocin-treated samples revealed some modifications only for lactic acid bacteria and enterococci during storage. In the control samples from batch 1, the culture-independent DGGE analysis revealed species from genera Rahnella and Serratia as the predominant bacteria at early stages. Several bands corresponding to other genera (two Pantoea bands, one Escherichia band, and five Enterobacter bands) were also detected during storage of control samples, especially at days 3 and 5, while one Rahnella band disappeared. By contrast, some of the enterobacteria (Pantoea Escherichia and Enterobacter) were not detected or showed very faint bands in batch 1 bacteriocin-treated samples, in which two new and intense bands corresponding to genera Enterococcus and Leuconostoc were detected. Batch 2 showed a more homogeneous bacterial population, composed mainly by species of genus Enterobacter together with Pantoea. The major modifications detected in the bacteriocin-treated samples from batch 2 included the loss of one genus Enterobacter band at days 3, 5 and 7, and the detection of a new band corresponding to genus Leuconostoc at days 5 and 7. These results suggest that bacteriocin treatment disturbs the microbial balance in sprouts, producing changes in the microbial profile that cannot be detected by culture-dependent methods. The results also encourage the use of culture-independent methods to gain more insights into the global effects of bacteriocins in food systems.
The cyclic bacteriocin enterocin AS-48 was tested on a cocktail of two Geobacillus stearothermophilus strains in canned food samples (corn and peas), and in coconut milk. AS-48 (7 microg/g) reduced viable cell counts below detection levels in samples from canned corn and peas stored at 45 degrees C for 30 days. In coconut milk, bacterial inactivation by AS-48 (1.75 microg/ml) was even faster. In all canned food and drink samples inoculated with intact G. stearothermophilus endospores, bacteriocin addition (1.75 microg per g or ml of food sample) rapidly reduced viable cell counts below detection levels and avoided regrowth during storage. After a short-time bacteriocin treatment of endospores, trypsin addition markedly increased G. stearothermophilus survival, supporting the effect of residual bacteriocin on the observed loss of viability for endospores. Results from this study support the potential of enterocin AS-48 as a biopreservative against G. stearothermophilus.
Enterococcus faecalis UGRA10, a new AS-48-producer strain, has been isolated from a Spanish sheep's cheese. The inhibitory substance produced by E. faecalis UGRA10 was purified and characterized using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry, confirming its identity with AS-48 enterocin (7.150 Da). Subsequent genetic analysis showed the existence of the as-48 gene cluster on a plasmid of approximately 70-kb. The UGRA10 strain was examined for safety properties such as enterococci virulence genes, biogenic amine production, and antibiotic resistance. As for most E. faecalis strains, PCR amplification revealed the existence of gene encoding for GelE, Asa1, Esp, EfaA, and Ace antigens and for tyrosine decarboxylase. This strain was sensitive to most of the antibiotics tested, being resistant only to aminoglycosides, lincosamide, and pristinamicins. In addition, UGRA10 developed an ability to form biofilms and to adhere to Caco 2 and HeLa 229 cells. More interestingly, this strain shows a high ability to interfere with the adhesion of Listeria monocytogenes to Caco 2 cells. Altogether, the results suggest that this broad-spectrum bacteriocin-producing strain has biotechnological potential to be developed as a protective agent in food preservation and as a probiotic.
Effect of AS-48 bioactive powder obtained by drying the samples recovered from CM-25 on L. monocytogenes. A) In BHI broth. (A): control without powder; samples treated with 0.008% (C) or 0.016% (-) bioactive powder. B) In skim milk. (A): control without powder; (-) samples treated with 5% bioactive powder. Cultures were incubated at 28 C.
Effect of AS-48 bioactive powder obtained by drying the samples recovered from CM-25 on S. aureus. A) In BHI broth (2.5% AS-48 powder). B) In skim milk (10% AS-48 powder). (A) Control without powder; (-) treated with bioactive powder. Cultures were incubated at 28 C.
Enterocin AS-48 is a cationic cyclic bacteriocin produced by Enterococcus faecalis with broad bactericidal activity. Currently we are assaying the efficacy of AS-48 as biopreservative in foods. In this work we have applied the spray drying process to different AS-48 liquid samples to obtain active dried preparations. We have also assayed different methods, heat, UV irradiation and filtration, to inactivate/remove the AS-48 producer cells from the samples. Best results were obtained for the sample from CM-25 cation exchange, for which it was also possible to completely eliminate/inactivate the producer cells by heat or UV irradiation without loss of activity. When added at 0.016% or 5% to Brain Heart Infusion broth or to skim milk, respectively, the AS-48 powder caused early and complete inactivation of Listeria monocytogenes. A partial inhibition of Staphylococcus aureus was achieved in broth and in skim milk supplemented with 2.5% and 10% AS-48 powder, respectively.
Enterocin AS-48 was tested in apple juice against the cider-spoilage, exopolysaccharide-producing strain Lactobacillus diolivorans 29 in combination with high-intensity pulsed-electric field (HIPEF) treatment (35 kV/cm, 150 Hz, 4 micros and bipolar mode). A response surface methodology was applied to study the bactericidal effects of the combined treatment, with AS-48 concentration and HIPEF treatment time as process variables. At subinhibitory bacteriocin concentrations, microbial inactivation by the combined treatment increased as the bacteriocin concentration and the HIPEF treatment time increased (from 0.5 to 2.0 microg/ml and from 100 to 1000 micros, respectively). Highest inactivation (4.87 logs) was achieved by 1000 micros HIPEF treatment in combination with 2.0 microg/ml AS-48. While application of treatments separately did not protect juice from survivors during storage, survivors to the combined treatment were inactivated within the following 24 h of storage, and the treated samples remained free from detectable lactobacilli for at least 15 days at temperatures of 4 degrees C as well as 22 degrees C. The combined treatment could be useful for inactivation of exopolysaccharide-producing L. diolivorans in apple juice.
Top-cited authors
Marco Gobbetti
  • Free University of Bozen-Bolzano
Luc De Vuyst
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Raffaella Di Cagno
  • Free University of Bozen-Bolzano
George-John E Nychas
  • Agricultural University of Athens
Carlo Giuseppe Rizzello
  • Sapienza University of Rome