Some major mycotoxins and their mycotoxicoses–an overview

Author: Richard, J.L. Description: Mycotoxins likely have existed for as long as crops have been grown but recognition of the true chemical nature of such entities of fungal metabolism was not known until recent times. Conjecturally, there is historical evidence of their presence back as far as the time reported in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Evidence of their periodic, historical occurrence exists until the recognition of aflatoxins in the early 1960s. At that time, mycotoxins were considered as a storage phenomenon whereby grains becoming moldy during storage allowed for the…

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Grapefruit juice and its furocoumarins inhibits autoinducer signaling and biofilm formation in bacteria

Author: Girennavar, B.; Cepeda, M.L.; Soni, K.A.; Vikram, A.; Jesudhasan, P.; Jayaprakasha, G.K.; Pillai, S.D.; Patil, B.S. Description: Cell-to-cell communications in bacteria mediated by small diffusible molecules termed as autoinducers (AI) are known to influence gene expression and pathogenicity. Oligopeptides and N-acylhomoserine lactones (AHL) are major AI molecules involved in intra-specific communication in gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria respectively, whereas boronated-diester molecules (AI-2) are involved in inter-specific communication among both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Naturally occurring furocoumarins from grapefruit showed >95% inhibition of AI-1 and AI-2 activities based on the Vibrio…

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Incidence, contributing factors, and control of bacterial pathogens in produce

**top choice** Author: Brackett, R.E. Description: The importance of bacterial pathogens in the transmission of foodborne illness has become apparent in recent years. Several large, well-publicized outbreaks of foodborne illness have been linked to cantaloupe, tomatoes, lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, and both apple and orange juices. In addition, numerous other smaller scale outbreaks linked to these and other commodities have also been reported. Although contributing factors have not been determined in all cases, several notable causes have been proposed. In particular, cross contamination with fecal matter of both domestic as well…

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Agriculture, pesticides, food security and food safety

Author: Carvalho, F.P. Description: Decades ago, agrochemicals were introduced aiming at enhancing crop yields and at protecting crops from pests. Due to adaptation and resistance developed by pests to chemicals, every year higher amounts and new chemical compounds are used to protect crops, causing undesired side effects and raising the costs of food production. Eventually, new techniques, including genetically modified organisms (GMOs) resistant to pests, could halt the massive spread of agrochemicals in agriculture fields. Biological chemical-free agriculture is gaining also more and more support but it is still not…

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Agriculture, pesticides, food security and food safety

Author: Carvalho, F.P. Description: Decades ago, agrochemicals were introduced aiming at enhancing crop yields and at protecting crops from pests. Due to adaptation and resistance developed by pests to chemicals, every year higher amounts and new chemical compounds are used to protect crops, causing undesired side effects and raising the costs of food production. Eventually, new techniques, including genetically modified organisms (GMOs) resistant to pests, could halt the massive spread of agrochemicals in agriculture fields. Biological chemical-free agriculture is gaining also more and more support but it is still not…

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Detection and traceability of genetically modified organisms in the food production chain

Author: Miraglia, M.; Berdal, K.G.; Brera, C.; Corbisier, P.; Holst-Jensen, A.; Kok, E.J.; Marvin, H.J.P.; Schimmel, H.; Rentsch, J.; van Rie, J.P.P.F.; Zagon, J. Description: Both labelling and traceability of genetically modified organisms are current issues that are considered in trade and regulation. Currently, labelling of genetically modified foods containing detectable transgenic material is required by EU legislation. A proposed package of legislation would extend this labelling to foods without any traces of transgenics. These new legislations would also impose labelling and a traceability system based on documentation throughout the…

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Neatness counts. How plating affects liking for the taste of food

Author: Zellner, D.A.; Siemers, E.; Teran, V.; Conroy, R.; Lankford, M.; Agrafiotis, A.; Ambrose, L.; Locher, P. Description: Two studies investigated the effect that the arrangement of food on a plate has on liking for the flavor of the food. Food presented in a neatly arranged presentation is liked more than the same food presented in a messy manner. A third study found that subjects expected to like the food in the neat presentations more than in the messy ones and would be willing to pay more for them. They…

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Shigella as a foodborne pathogen and current methods for detection in food

Author: Warren, B.R.; Parish, M.E.; Schneider, K.R. Description: Shigella, the causative agent of shigellosis or “bacillary dysentery,” has been increasingly involved in foodborne outbreaks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Emerging Infections Program, Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet), Shigella was the third most reported foodborne bacterial pathogen in 2002. Foods are most commonly contaminated with Shigella by an infected food handler who practices poor personal hygiene. Shigella is acid resistant, salt tolerant, and can survive at infective levels in many types of foods such as fruits…

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Veterinary use and antibiotic resistance

Author: Teuber, M. Description: Globally, an estimated 50% of all antimicrobials serve veterinary purposes. Bacteria that inevitably develop antibiotic resistance in animals comprise food-borne pathogens, opportunistic pathogens and commensal bacteria. The same antibiotic resistance genes and gene transfer mechanisms can be found in the microfloras of animals and humans. Direct contact, food and water link animal and human habitats. The accumulation of resistant bacteria by the use of antibiotics in agriculture and veterinary medicine and the spread of such bacteria via agriculture and direct contamination are documented. Subject headings: Agriculture;…

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