Leatherhead Food Research - Articles and news items
Issue 6 2014 • 23 December 2014 • Angela Calder, Senior Scientist, Leatherhead Food Research
One of the constant headaches of the food industry is the issue of contamination. This may be as the result of contaminants in the environment or deliberate tampering of food products; the underhand practice of food adulteration is a threat wherever costs can be cut. To identify such deliberate contamination of food products requires analytical techniques which are able to screen not only for what might be used to adulterate a product but also for the unexpected…
Industry news • 9 December 2014 • Leatherhead Food Research
Sophisticated shelf life strategies could help accelerate industry-wide efforts to reduce unnecessary food waste, according to Leatherhead Food Research…
Back-tracing environmental toxicants in an animal-derived food chain based on food metabolomics
Detecting bacteria in food: harder than searching for a needle in a haystack?
Rapid detection methods for chemical hazards in foods
Mass spectrometry for the food industry
Tea innovation around the world
An update for gluten-free applications
Microencapsulation for functional foods: a focus on the vibrating technology
Issue 3 2012 • 3 July 2012 • Dr Evangelia Komitopoulou, Head of Food Safety, Leatherhead Food Research
Many bacteria are able to attach to and colonise environmental surfaces by producing a biofilm, which allows the organisms to persist in the environment and resist desiccation, UV light and treatment with antimicrobials and sanitising agents. Biofilms are formed when microbes attach to a solid support and to each other by extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), and on a wide variety of surfaces, including metal, plastic, rock and living or dead tissue. Once in a biofilm, bacteria can be several orders of magnitude more resistant to antimicrobials than their planktonic counterparts1.
Biofilms are of particular concern in the process and food industries as well as in potable and wastewater distribution systems. Biofilms formed on the inside of pipes can reduce flow rates while increased fouling can lead to decreases in heat transmission and thus ineffective processing, product contamination and pipe corrosion due to acid production in the biofilm. Biofilm formation in drinking water distribution systems can lead to a decrease in water velocity and carrying capacity, clogging and pipe corrosion, increase in energy utilisation and decreased operational efficiency. In marine and other aquatic environments, submerged surfaces attract organisms such as algae, diatoms and bacteria that are able to attach and form biofilms on ships’ hulls and become resistant to the different antifouling paints that have been developed to prevent the initial colonisation.
Issue 2 2011 • 13 May 2011 • Dr Paul Gibbs & Dr Evangelia Komitopoulou, Food Safety, Leatherhead Food Research
The control of microbial access and growth in foods from ‘farm to fork’ is important to ensure consumer health and well-being and minimise losses of foods through spoilage. Whilst it seems almost impossible to achieve a good and consistently hygienic production of raw materials, there are many different ways of controlling both access and growth of important microorganisms. Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), i.e. hygienic handling of the raw materials, should start on the farm to minimise pathogenic species that are naturally present in farm environments and can then be transferred to raw materials for food production. The whole environment of a manufacturing plant needs to be subjected to the HACCP principles to control ‘persistent pathogens’ which can be transferred to food ‘in-process’ and avoid post-process contamination.
The basic characteristics of food preservation technologies addressing chemical, biological, thermal and non-thermal processes is presented below.
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.
ABF Ingredients ANDEROL EUROPE BV Avantes Berndorf Band GmbH BIOTECON Diagnostics GmbH Cargo Oil AB Elea GmbH Engilico FUCHS LUBRITECH GmbH GLOBALG.A.P. Foodplus GmbH InS Services (UK) Ltd IONICON Analytik GmbH JAX INC. JBT Corporation LUBRIPLATE Lubricants Company NSF International Ocean Optics PCE Instruments UK Ltd R-Biopharm Rhone Ltd Randox Food Diagnostics Stancold SteriBeam The Tintometer® Group TOMRA Sorting Food Uhde High Pressure Technologies GmbH Verner Wheelock Vikan UK Ltd