Fungi - Articles and news items
Featured news • 13 May 2016 • TOMRA
Data revealing aflatoxins to be the biggest cause of food-related recalls demonstrates the important role effective sorting and quality analysis systems can play in boosting food safety on the production line, says TOMRA Sorting Food…
Industry news • 5 May 2015 • Victoria White
Research has found that the interaction of roots with mycorrhizal fungus changes the genetic expression of rice crops, triggering additional root growth…
Issue 3 2012 • 3 July 2012 • François Bourdichon and Katia Rouzeau, Food Safety Microbiology, Quality and Safety Department, Nestlé Research Centre
‘Something is fishy’ is a widely used expression over a doubtful, suspicious situation, a good example of how mankind has taken advantage of microbial spoilage to assess the wholesomeness of a food product. The reduction of trimethylamine oxide to trimethylamine by bacteria associated primarily with the marine environment (e.g. Alteromonas and Vibrio) and animal intestines (Enterobacteriaceae) constitutes this major spoilage reaction during the storage of marine fish and typically identified ‘fishy’ as off note. The microbial alteration of fish can be therefore organoleptically identified by consumers, considering the food as suspicious for consumption1.
Spoilage of food involves any change which renders food unacceptable for human consumption and may result from a variety of causes, which include: Insect damage; Physical injury due to freezing, drying, burning, pressure, radiation; Activity of indigenous enzymes in plant and animal tissues; Chemical changes not induced by microbial or naturally occurring enzymes (These changes usually involve O2 and light and other than microbial spoilage are the most common cause of spoilage e.g. oxidative rancidity of fats and oils and the discolouration of cured meats); and growth and activity of microorganisms: bacteria, yeasts and moulds.
Since biblical times, the toxic response caused by ingestion of mycotoxins, the secondary metabolites of moulds, has had a significant impact on the health and welfare of human and animal populations. Since the early 1960’s, a wealth of knowledge about mycotoxigenic fungi, such as Aspergillus, Penicillium and Fusarium, and their associated toxins has become available. Scientific journals, the traditional source of information on mycotoxins, are complemented nowadays by web-based information sources, such as the European Mycotoxin Awareness Network (EMAN, www.mycotoxins.org) and even a dedicated Mycotoxin Channel on YouTube presenting video clips from well-respected mycotoxin researchers.
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