Microbiological Quality and Safety in Animal and Vegetable-Sourced Food

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 April 2024) | Viewed by 5616

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, Strada Prov.le per Casamassima, Km 3, 70010 Bari, Valenzano, Italy
Interests: food microbiology; foodborne pathogens; food safety; food quality; survival of food borne pathogens in foods of animal origin; food technology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, or chemicals still causes more than 200 illnesses. Of these, diarrhoeal diseases are the most common, resulting from the consumption of contaminated food and causing a multitude of deaths every year. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), every year, almost 1 in 10 people in the world fall ill after consuming contaminated food and more than 400,000 die every year from food-borne diseases. Much of the food produced, despite great progress in the development of increasingly advanced preservation technologies, is wasted due to microbiological spoilage. Therefore, food safety still represents a significant public health challenge. Food of an animal origin continues to be the source of most documented and reported outbreaks. However, there has been an increase in the number of outbreaks, human cases, and hospitalisations associated with foods of vegetable origin, namely fruit, vegetables, salads, seeds, nuts, cereals, herbs, and spices. In addition, the occurrence of new health emergencies related to food consumption, such as emerging biological hazards, antimicrobial resistance, or the presence of micro- and nanoplastics, presents new challenges in the field of scientific research. This Special Issue will focus on the microbiological quality and safety of fresh and processed foods of animal and vegetable origin and the study of the microbiota, through the application of traditional and innovative methods, to ensure higher quality standards and consumer protection.

Dr. Nicoletta Cristiana Quaglia
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • food safety
  • food quality
  • animal-sourced food
  • vegetable-sourced food
  • microbiological control
  • microbiota
  • foodborne pathogens
  • analytical methods
  • alternative microbiological methods
  • shelf life

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 268 KiB  
Article
The EU Interreg Project “ADRINET”: Assessment of Well-Known and Emerging Pollutants in Seafood and Their Potential Effects for Food Safety
by Elisabetta Bonerba, Fatmira Shehu, Annamaria Pandiscia, Patrizio Lorusso, Alessio Manfredi, Aleksandra Huter, Giuseppina M. Tantillo, Sara Panseri, Maria Nobile and Valentina Terio
Foods 2024, 13(8), 1235; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13081235 - 17 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1107
Abstract
Anthropogenic activities lead to the spread of chemicals and biological materials, including plastic waste, toxic metals, and pharmaceuticals, of which the impact on the Mediterranean Sea is of high concern. In this context, the EU Interreg Italy-Albania-Montenegro Project “ADRINET (Adriatic Network for Marine [...] Read more.
Anthropogenic activities lead to the spread of chemicals and biological materials, including plastic waste, toxic metals, and pharmaceuticals, of which the impact on the Mediterranean Sea is of high concern. In this context, the EU Interreg Italy-Albania-Montenegro Project “ADRINET (Adriatic Network for Marine Ecosystem) _244” (2018–2020) arises. It aims to carry out biomonitoring campaigns in the main commercial interest of fish and cephalopod species, such as Sparus aurata, Dicentrarchus labrax, Sepia spp., and Loligo spp. sampled in three different subregions of the Mediterranean Sea. The presence of the main environmental contaminants, such as cadmium, microplastics, and antibiotics was investigated in these seafood samples. Contamination by cadmium and antibiotics in the seafood investigated in our study was negligible. However, a high value of microplastics was detected in the stomach and gut of Sparus aurata and Dicentrarchus labrax. Overall, even though the presence of microplastics needs to be investigated by further studies, the results confirmed that the environmental conditions of the three bays investigated by the ADRINET project partners (Italy, Albania, Montenegro) are positive and not affected by intensive anthropogenic activity. Full article
20 pages, 1440 KiB  
Article
Specificity of the AMP-6000 Method for Enumerating Clostridium Endospores in Milk
by Johanna Burtscher, Tamara Rudavsky, Ulrike Zitz and Konrad J. Domig
Foods 2024, 13(8), 1192; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13081192 - 13 Apr 2024
Viewed by 629
Abstract
Enumeration of endospores of butyric acid-forming clostridia in cheese milk is an essential part of milk quality monitoring for cheese producers to avoid late blowing, severe spoilage caused by clostridia during ripening. However, due to the lack of an internationally standardized method, different [...] Read more.
Enumeration of endospores of butyric acid-forming clostridia in cheese milk is an essential part of milk quality monitoring for cheese producers to avoid late blowing, severe spoilage caused by clostridia during ripening. However, due to the lack of an internationally standardized method, different methods are used and it is important to consider how the choice of method affects the results. This is particularly relevant when clostridial spore counts in milk are considered for quality payments. The aim of this study was to evaluate the specificity of the AMP-6000 method for the enumeration of endospores of cheese spoiling clostridia in milk. First, to assess the prevalence of Clostridium diversity and to determine potential non-target species, we identified isolates from positive reactions of the AMP-6000 method used to quantify clostridial endospores in raw milk and teat skin samples by MALDI-TOF MS. Based on these results, a strain library was designed to evaluate method inclusivity and exclusivity using pure cultures of target and non-target strains according to ISO 16140-2:2016. Most target Clostridium tyrobutyricum strains, as well as all tested C. butyricum and C. sporogenes strains were inclusive. However, C. beijerinckii may be underestimated as only some strains gave positive results. All non-target strains of bacilli and lysinibacilli, but not all paenibacilli, were confirmed to be exclusive. This study provides performance data to better understand the results of microbiological enumeration of butyric acid-forming clostridia in milk and serves as a basis for future methodological considerations and improvements. Full article
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10 pages, 1227 KiB  
Article
Occurrence of Helicobacter pullorum in Retail Chicken Meat: A One-Health Approach to Consumer Health Protection
by Nicoletta C. Quaglia, Flavia Capuozzo, Federica Ioanna, Michele De Rosa and Angela Dambrosio
Foods 2024, 13(6), 845; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060845 - 10 Mar 2024
Viewed by 930
Abstract
Helicobacter pullorum is an emerging foodborne pathogen that commonly colonizes the gastrointestinal tract of poultry, causing gastroenteritis. It has been related to several clinically important infections, including colitis and hepatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, recurrent diarrhea, and bacteremia in the human population. The bacterium [...] Read more.
Helicobacter pullorum is an emerging foodborne pathogen that commonly colonizes the gastrointestinal tract of poultry, causing gastroenteritis. It has been related to several clinically important infections, including colitis and hepatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, recurrent diarrhea, and bacteremia in the human population. The bacterium may be transmitted to humans through undercooked poultry meat. In order to investigate the occurrence of H. pullorum in raw retail chicken meat (thighs and breasts), we analyzed 240 samples: 120 chicken thigh and 120 chicken breast samples. The samples were analyzed by means of an isolation protocol using Steele and McDermott’s modified filtration technique on Brucella agar supplemented with 5% of defibrinated sheep’s blood. The presumptive colonies were biochemically identified and analyzed using a previously described conventional PCR test based on the 16S rRNA gene. In total, 35% of analyzed samples were positive using the microbiological protocol and 45% were positive by PCR. These results suggest that H. pullorum can be transmitted to humans through the handling and consumption of raw poultry meat, representing a risk for food business operators and consumers. Efforts to control H. pullorum in broiler meat should prioritize the implementation of stringent hygienic practices across all stages of the food chain, from the farm to the consumer. Full article
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15 pages, 3374 KiB  
Article
Detection of the Microbial Composition of Some Commercial Fermented Liquid Products via Metagenomic Analysis
by Cansu Çelik Doğan, Hafize Tuğba Yüksel Dolgun, Serkan İkiz, Şükrü Kırkan and Uğur Parın
Foods 2023, 12(19), 3538; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12193538 - 22 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1247
Abstract
The fermented liquid sector is developing all over the world due to its contribution to health. Our study has contributed to the debate about whether industrially manufactured fermented liquids live up to their claims by analyzing pathogens and beneficial bacteria using a 16S [...] Read more.
The fermented liquid sector is developing all over the world due to its contribution to health. Our study has contributed to the debate about whether industrially manufactured fermented liquids live up to their claims by analyzing pathogens and beneficial bacteria using a 16S rRNA sequencing technique called metagenomic analysis. Paenibacillus, Lentibacillus, Bacillus, Enterococcus, Levilactobacillus, and Oenococcus were the most abundant bacterial genera observed as potential probiotics. Pseudomonas stutzeri, Acinetobacter, and Collimonas, which have plant-growth-promoting traits, were also detected. The fact that we encounter biocontroller bacteria that promote plant growth demonstrates that these organisms are widely used in foods and emphasizes the necessity of evaluating them in terms of public health. Their potential applications in agriculture may pose a danger to food hygiene and human health in the long term, so our data suggest that this should be evaluated. Full article
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9 pages, 1263 KiB  
Article
Microbiological Quality of Polish Artisanal Varietal Honeys
by Monika Kędzierska-Matysek, Anna Teter, Tomasz Daszkiewicz and Mariusz Florek
Foods 2023, 12(18), 3349; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12183349 - 7 Sep 2023
Viewed by 963
Abstract
On the basis of routine microbiological tests and selected physicochemical parameters, the quality and food safety of Polish varietal honeys were evaluated. The study included 21 honey samples from 5 varieties (multifloral, honeydew, rapeseed, buckwheat and linden), in which the moisture and extract [...] Read more.
On the basis of routine microbiological tests and selected physicochemical parameters, the quality and food safety of Polish varietal honeys were evaluated. The study included 21 honey samples from 5 varieties (multifloral, honeydew, rapeseed, buckwheat and linden), in which the moisture and extract content, water activity, pH and free acids were determined, and the colony count, the presumptive Bacillus spp., the total fungal count and the presence of anaerobic spore-forming bacilli were examined. More than half (52%, 11/21) of the analyzed honeys contained fewer microorganisms than 10 cfu/g, and in the remaining samples, their numbers ranged from 5 × 101 cfu/g to 4.5 × 102 cfu/g. In all the honeys, the number of presumptive Bacillus spp. in 1 g was less than 10 cfu. In 81% (17/21) of the samples, the total count of fungi in 1 g of honey was less than 10 cfu, and the most contaminated was buckwheat honey (3 samples). The anaerobic spore-forming bacteria was detected in 0.1 g only in one sample of buckwheat honey. The values of the physicochemical parameters did not exceed the accepted limits, which indicated that the honey environment was unfavourable for the development of the tested microbial profile. Full article
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