University College Cork - Articles and news items

Scientists identify the cause of pink discolouration in cheese

Industry news  •  15 June 2016  •  Victoria White, Digital Content Producer

Scientists have identified a heat-loving bacterium, called Thermus as the cause of pink discolouration defects in cheese…

Milk pasteurisation

Issue 5 2011  •  1 November 2011  •  Dr. Seamus O’Mahony, School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University College Cork

Pasteurisation is a relatively mild heat treatment designed to inactivate vegetative pathogenic microorganisms in milk. Pasteurisation, coupled with refrigerated storage of pasteurised product, makes milk safe for human consumption and also extends the shelf-life of the product. Pasteurised milk is not sterile, with refrigerated storage inhibiting / retarding the growth of thermophilic spore-forming bacteria which survive pasteurisation. Pasteurised milk typically contains low numbers of psychrotrophic bacteria, which eventually limit shelf-life. The process of pasteurisation is named after the French microbiologist Louis Pasteur, who discovered that wine could be preserved by inactivating bacteria by heating at a temperature below boiling. This approach was later applied to milk, with the first systems for commercial pasteurisation of milk being introduced in the last decade of the nineteenth century.

The early systems relied on heating of milk to approximately 63-65°C and holding for approximately 30 minutes in batch vessels, followed by rapid cooling to less than 12°C (i.e., low-temperature-long-time (LTLT) pasteurisation). While some plants (e.g., farmhouse dairy product manufacturers) may still employ this LTLT approach to pasteurisation, it has largely been superseded by highthroughput, continuous-flow plate heat exchanger (PHE)-based pasteurisers, in which milk is heated to 72-74°C and held for at least 15 seconds in a process called hightemperature- short-time (HTST) pasteurisation.

International Ice Cream Science and Technology Workshop

Industry news, News  •  18 October 2011  •  University College Cork

On 21-23 February 2012, an international Ice Cream Science and Technology Training Workshop will be hosted…

The ‘Sense-Award’ scoring system: Objective adjudication for a multi category food awards competition

Issue 2 2011  •  13 May 2011  •  Maurice G. O’Sullivan, Mary P. O’Sullivan and Joseph P. Kerry, Food Packaging Group, School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University College Cork and Derek V. Byrne, Department of Food Science, Sensory Science, University of Copenhagen

Increasingly, food preference has become based on the mantra ‘we taste therefore we eat’, with consumers consistently seeking quality information across the product spectrum1. Thus, the use of ranking indications from food awards has become important to a product’s impact in the marketplace, particularly artisanal foods2. However, do these awards in sensory terms designate objective assessment? The Blas na hÉireann Irish National Food Awards have been held for the last three years on the first weekend of October in Dingle County Kerry as an integral part of the annual Dingle Food and Drink Festival. Upwards of eight hundred products have been submitted to the awards competition each year and scored from approximately 200 companies across over 27 categories.

Edible/biodegradable packaging for food

Issue 4 2009  •  12 December 2009  •  Dr Lizhe Wang, Biomaterial Scientist and Dr Joe P. Kerry, Head of the Food Packaging Group, Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University College Cork

As traditional food packaging materials show shortcomings in terms of their environmental pollution impact and in their manufacturing requirements for non-renewable resources, the need for alternative packaging materials and packaging formats is now required more than ever. A major group of alternative and novel materials which possess future commercial potential are those derived from utilised and underutilised food ingredients, or food grade ingredients. Consequently, they provide packaging materials which are not just biodegradable in nature, but which are edible also, thereby presenting greater opportunities for commercial application in a more sustainable manner. Therefore, the potential advantages that such packaging materials have over more current conventional packaging forms used by the food industry are obvious.

Packaging design for fresh produce

Issue 1 2008, Past issues  •  28 February 2008  •  Pramod.V. Mahajan, Oliveira, F.A.R., Montanez, J.C., and Iqbal, T., Department of Process and Chemical Engineering, University College, Cork, Ireland

Ready-to-eat, fresh-cut consumer products are one of the few segments within the industry that has shown consistent growth within the last few years. Cutting however, increases senescence rate and the shelf life of the products can be very limited. Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), combined with a good cold chain can extend the shelf life, but challenges still exist, due to fresh-cut products containing much higher respiration rates due to the cell stress, caused by cutting.


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