Novel Approaches for Controlling and Analyzing Microorganisms in Foods

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2024 | Viewed by 2277

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Food Research Center, Department of Food and Experimental Nutrition, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo 05508-000, Brazil
Interests: food microbiology; microorganisms; foodborne bacteria; food safety; quorum sensing

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Food safety has emerged as a significant concern in society. The complexity of the food supply chain has increased, as have food safety issues and the emergence of pathogenic microorganisms. Ensuring food safety and quality relies on a comprehensive understanding of microorganisms and their interactions within food ecosystems. By understanding food microbial ecology, it is possible to effectively create preventive measures to eliminate or avoid the transmission or growth of pathogens and spoilage organisms in foods. This knowledge can also be used to improve microbial detection and analysis systems in the food sector.

We invite authors to contribute with original research articles and reviews that showcase cutting-edge research on innovative strategies for the control and analysis of microorganisms in foods. We welcome submissions on a range of topics, including:

  • Emerging technologies for detection of microorganisms in the food supply chain.
  • Innovative approaches for controlling foodborne pathogens and spoilage organisms.
  • Applications of nano and biotechnology in the analysis and control of microorganisms.
  • Antimicrobial strategies using natural compounds and bioactive substances.
  • Computational methods for predicting and analyzing microbial behavior in foods.
  • The impact of environmental factors on microbial growth and survival in food environments.
  • Challenges and opportunities in the field of food safety and quality assurance.

Prof. Dr. Uelinton Manoel Pinto
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • microorganisms
  • food safety
  • foodborne pathogens
  • control
  • detection
  • microbial ecology

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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28 pages, 6278 KiB  
Article
Metataxonomic Identification of Microorganisms during the Coffee Fermentation Process in Colombian Farms (Cesar Department)
by Carmenza E. Góngora, Laura Holguín-Sterling, Bertilda Pedraza-Claros, Rosangela Pérez-Salinas, Aristofeles Ortiz and Lucio Navarro-Escalante
Foods 2024, 13(6), 839; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060839 - 9 Mar 2024
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Abstract
The metataxonomic diversity and microbial composition of microorganisms during the coffee fermentation process as well as their relationship with coffee quality were determined across 20 farms in the department of Cesar, Colombia, by sampling coffee fruits from Coffea arabica; Var. Castillo General [...] Read more.
The metataxonomic diversity and microbial composition of microorganisms during the coffee fermentation process as well as their relationship with coffee quality were determined across 20 farms in the department of Cesar, Colombia, by sampling coffee fruits from Coffea arabica; Var. Castillo General®, Var. Colombia, and Var. Cenicafé 1. In each farm, the fruits were processed and the fermentation process took place between 10 and 42 h following this. Three samples of mucilage and washed coffee seeds were collected per farm during the fermentation process. The microorganisms present in the mucilage were identified using metataxonomic methods by amplifying the 16S rRNA gene for bacteria and ITS for fungi. The microorganisms’ morphotypes were isolated and identified. The analysis of bacteria allowed for the identification of the following genera: Gluconobacter, Leuconostoc, Acetobacter, Frateuria, Pantoea, Pseudomonas, Tatumella, and Weisella, as well as unclassified enterobacteria; the Lactobacillacea and Secundilactobacillus families were only identified in the Var. Cenicafé 1. For fungi, the top 11 genera and families found included Hanseniaspora, Candida, Meyerozyma, Wickerhamomyces, Pichia, f-Saccharomycodaceae, f-Nectriciae, unclassified fungi, and Saccharomycetaceae, which were only found in Cenicafé 1. A total of 92% of the coffee samples obtained scored between 80.1 and 84.9, indicating “Very Good” coffee (Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) scale). Farms with the longest fermentation times showed better coffee attributes related to acidity, fragrance, and aroma. During coffee fermentation, there is a central microbiome. The differences between the microorganisms’ genera could be influenced by the coffee variety, while the specific conditions of each farm (i.e., altitude and temperature) and its fermentation processes could determine the proportions of and interactions between the microbial groups that favor the sensory characteristics responsible for coffee cup quality. Full article
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15 pages, 2687 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Antibacterial Potential and Underlying Mechanisms of Prunella vulgaris L. on Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus
by Ziyin Li, Qiqi He, Feifei Xu, Xinxin Yin, Zhuofan Guan, Jia Song, Zhini He, Xingfen Yang and Chen Situ
Foods 2024, 13(5), 660; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13050660 - 22 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 763
Abstract
Prunella vulgaris L. (PV) is a widely distributed plant species, known for its versatile applications in both traditional and contemporary medicine, as well as in functional food development. Despite its broad-spectrum antimicrobial utility, the specific mechanism of antibacterial action remains elusive. To fill [...] Read more.
Prunella vulgaris L. (PV) is a widely distributed plant species, known for its versatile applications in both traditional and contemporary medicine, as well as in functional food development. Despite its broad-spectrum antimicrobial utility, the specific mechanism of antibacterial action remains elusive. To fill this knowledge gap, the present study investigated the antibacterial properties of PV extracts against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and assessed their mechanistic impact on bacterial cells and cellular functions. The aqueous extract of PV demonstrated greater anti-MRSA activity compared to the ethanolic and methanolic extracts. UPLC-ESI-MS/MS tentatively identified 28 phytochemical components in the aqueous extract of PV. Exposure to an aqueous extract at ½ MIC and MIC for 5 h resulted in a significant release of intracellular nucleic acid (up to 6-fold) and protein (up to 10-fold) into the extracellular environment. Additionally, this treatment caused a notable decline in the activity of several crucial enzymes, including a 41.51% reduction in alkaline phosphatase (AKP), a 45.71% decrease in adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase), and a 48.99% drop in superoxide dismutase (SOD). Furthermore, there was a decrease of 24.17% at ½ MIC and 27.17% at MIC in tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle activity and energy transfer. Collectively, these findings indicate that the anti-MRSA properties of PV may stem from its ability to disrupt membrane and cell wall integrity, interfere with enzymatic activity, and impede bacterial cell metabolism and the transmission of information and energy that is essential for bacterial growth, ultimately resulting in bacterial apoptosis. The diverse range of characteristics exhibited by PV positions it as a promising antimicrobial agent with broad applications for enhancing health and improving food safety and quality. Full article
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Review

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15 pages, 457 KiB  
Review
Unveiling Safety Concerns in Brazilian Artisanal Cheeses: A Call for Enhanced Ripening Protocols and Microbiological Assessments
by Tatiane Mendonça Nogueira Carneiro de Albuquerque, Gabriela Zampieri Campos, Loredana d’Ovidio, Uelinton Manoel Pinto, Paulo José do Amaral Sobral and Julia Arantes Galvão
Foods 2024, 13(11), 1644; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13111644 (registering DOI) - 24 May 2024
Abstract
Brazilian artisanal cheeses have recently gained significant commercial prominence and consumer favor, primarily due to their distinctive sensory attributes and cultural and historical appeal. Many of these cheeses are made with raw milk and undergo a relatively short ripening period, sometimes ranging from [...] Read more.
Brazilian artisanal cheeses have recently gained significant commercial prominence and consumer favor, primarily due to their distinctive sensory attributes and cultural and historical appeal. Many of these cheeses are made with raw milk and undergo a relatively short ripening period, sometimes ranging from 4 to 8 days, though it is usually shorter than the period stated by law. Moreover, there is insufficient evidence regarding the efficacy of a short ripening period in reducing certain zoonotic foodborne pathogens, such as Brucella spp., Coxiella burnetiid, and Mycobacterium bovis (as part of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex). Additionally, a literature analysis revealed that the usual ripening conditions of Brazilian artisanal cheeses made with raw milk may be inefficient in reducing the levels of some hazardous bacterial, including Brucella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, coagulase-positive Staphylococcus, Salmonella, and Coxiella burnetti, to the acceptable limits established by law, thus failing to ensure product safety for all cheese types. Moreover, the assessment of the microbiological safety for this type of cheese should be broader and should also consider zoonotic pathogens commonly found in bovine herds. Finally, a standardized protocol for evaluating the effectiveness of cheese ripening must be established by considering its peculiarities. Full article
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