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think: Obama and Congress need to put food safety on their agenda
November 14, 2008 source from: http://www.orlandosentinel.com
There's a full plate of urgent issues awaiting President-elect Barack
Obama and the next Congress. The Government Accountability Office, Congress'
nonpartisan watchdog, listed 13 of them last week. Along with some obvious
choices, such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and oversight of the
financial industry, the GAO included food safety.
The government's ability to safeguard the nation's food supply and respond
quickly to outbreaks of food-borne illness are undermined by "the
fragmented nature of the federal food oversight system," the GAO
said. There are 15 federal agencies administering at least 30 laws; that
leads to poor coordination, inconsistent policy and wasted resources.
Anyone not convinced that improving food safety is important should talk
to a Florida tomato grower. During a national outbreak of salmonella earlier
this year, the Food and Drug Administration initially fingered tainted
tomatoes as the prime suspect. Growers in Florida and other states lost
at least $100 million in sales.
The FDA later switched to blaming contaminated peppers from Mexico. Angry
tomato growers' representatives told Congress afterward that no one in
the government seemed to be in charge.
The salmonella outbreak, which sickened at least 1,400 Americans, was
the latest in a series of food scares in recent years tied to contaminated
fresh produce, including spinach, lettuce and cantaloupes. So while the
government is rightly urging Americans to eat more fruits and vegetables
for good health, it's falling short in protecting produce.
The FDA, charged with ensuring the safety of 80 percent of the nation's
food supply, has been underfunded and understaffed for years. That has
left too few resources for inspections, enforcement and scientific research.
Congress and the president belatedly began moving in the wake of the salmonella
outbreak to increase the agency's budget.
But stronger laws and better coordination among regulators also are needed
to adapt to today's globalized food supply and better prevent or trace
illness outbreaks. Members of both parties in Congress, including Republican
Rep. Adam Putnam of Bartow, have been working together on these kinds
In particular, the FDA needs
to establish mandatory national safety standards that would apply to fresh
produce from farm to fork, based on the best science available. Those
national standards would replace a patchwork of state and industry standards
around the country, and fill in gaps where no standards exist. They would
also be applied to imported produce.
The Produce Safety Project at Georgetown University, which advocates national
standards, says they could be put in place for about $70 million. That's
at least $30 million less than the value of a tax break Congress extended
last month for auto-racing track owners.
Groups representing the nation's fruit and vegetable growers have said
they'd welcome the standards. They know how wide the damage from even
an isolated case of tainted produce can spread.
As the Obama administration dives into the economic crisis and national
security, it needs to save some room for protecting public health by making
overdue improvements to food safety.
Food Under the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and
Response Act from FDA
considered possible culprit in Ontario E. coli outbreak
Last Updated: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 | 6:58 AM ET Comments61Recommend37CBC
Lettuce is believed to be responsible for four E. coli outbreaks in southwestern
Ontario that made about two dozen people sick, food inspectors say.
"Romaine lettuce is the prime suspect," Rene Cardinal, an official
with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, told the Canadian Press.
Doug Sider, Niagara Region's associate medical officer of health, said
the romaine lettuce was the only thing that was significantly related
to the cases.
Officials will begin tracing suppliers and distributors of the lettuce
if that link is confirmed through further tests.
People could also have fallen sick after eating raw vegetables prepared
on the same cutting board as the source of the contamination, said Monir
Taha, the associate medical officer of health for Halton Region.
Health officials still don't know the source of last month's unrelated
E. coli outbreak in North Bay.
There are 128 confirmed or probable cases of E. coli 0157:H7 in the Niagara,
Halton, Guelph and Waterloo regions. Of those, there are 14 confirmed
cases in Niagara, five each in Halton and Guelph and two in Waterloo.
Meanwhile, as part of an outbreak of a different strain of E. coli in
North Bay, local public health officials closed a classroom as a precautionary
measure on Wednesday.
Symptoms of E. coli are currently affecting four children from one classroom
at Sunset Park Public School, said Dr. Catherine Whiting, medical officer
of health for the North Bay region. Children in the senior kindergarten
class of the school's French immersion program were asked to stay at home
on Wednesday. The affected classroom and common areas will be thoroughly
cleaned. A Harvey's restaurant linked to North Bay's E. coli outbreak
in North Bay was set to reopen Wednesday after all testing of food and
environmental samples came back negative for contamination. The restaurant
has been thoroughly sanitized, public health inspectors said.
As of Tuesday, there were 251 people with confirmed, probable or suspected
cases of E. coli 0157:H7. Of those, 50 have been confirmed.
There are about 350 cases of E. coli O157:H7 each year in Ontario, according
to the province's ministry of health.
no confirmation North Bay students contracted E. coli
Posted By THE CANADIAN PRESS
Posted 1 day ago
Laboratory results still haven't returned to confirm whether four children
from a kindergarten class at Sunset Park Public School contracted E. coli.
The students, all enrolled in the senior kindergarten class in the Frenchimmersion
program, have been tested for the bacterial infection and remain at home.
The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit announced Wednesday they
closed the class after children started to experience E. coli-like symptoms.
No new illnesses have been reported. "We want to remind everyone
general diarrhea or seasonal illness, usually viral, is also circulating
in our community," Dr. Catherine Whiting said in a release issued
"This illness can occur year-round, but it is more common in the
fall and winter," she said.
The health unit and Near North District School Board are working together
on the situation at Sunset Park School.
Additional cleaning staff have been assigned to the school and all affected
classrooms and common areas have been cleaned.
Leaf CEO's memos to workers give glimpse of struggles with listeria
Special investigation by CBC News/Toronto Star
Last Updated: Saturday, November 8, 2008 | 9:27 AM ET Comments87Recommend294CBC
Maple Leaf Foods president Michael McCain wrote frank, unedited notes
and e-mailed them to thousands of employees each week. (Jeff De Booy/Winnipeg
Free Press/Canadian Press)Weeks before the word listeria became a common
term in households across Canada, the company at the centre of an outbreak
was struggling with "belt-tightening" amid a "massive change
period," according to memos written by the head of Maple Leaf Foods.
In a series of confidential
memos obtained by CBC News and the Toronto Star, company president Michael
McCain reveals the business had stopped catering internal meetings, asked
workers to print double-sided and had put a freeze on hiring as they were
"scrubbing [their] budgets."
The memos provide a glimpse behind the scenes during the tumultuous months
when the deadly listeriosis outbreak, linked to the company's Toronto
plant on Bartor Road, dominated headlines across the country.
For the past decade, McCain has written the frank, unedited notes and
e-mailed them to thousands of employees each week, he said in an interview.
While mostly filled with details about running the multi-billion dollar
company, a major player in the food industry, the notes focus on the listeriosis
outbreak over the months of August and September and increase in frequency
to several days a week.
At least 20 people have died from a Listeria monocytogenes strain linked
to the company's Toronto facility, which prompted the largest food recall
in the country's history.
McCain said he first learned of positive tests for listeria on three Sure
Slice products on Aug. 16 by way of a phone call from a manager late at
night, while at his Georgian Bay cottage.
"My first reaction was, okay, it's unfortunate, disappointing. It
happens to all brands," McCain said in an exclusive interview.
At that time, he says he didn't know about any connections to illness.
A day later, the company issued its initial recall of several products
? one that would later expand beyond 200.
'No reason to hang our heads'
"You all know how critically important we take food safety throughout
our organization," he writes in the Aug. 20 memo to employees. "We
have had a breach in that commitment¡¦"
McCain says the company "acted swiftly" to the positive listeria
tests, an "isolated incident" limited to two production lines
at the Bartor Road facility.
He writes that there are confirmed cases of listeriosis but "so far
these cases have not been linked to our products."
As a precaution, the company orders a sweeping recall of products made
back to June 2 and announces the closure of the plant for a deep-clean
The next day, he writes to employees again amid a building media storm
as the first listeriosis death becomes public.
"This isn't something we should ever want to be in the news about,
but we have no reason to hang our heads ? we're doing what is the right
thing to do in this situation ¡¦ acting responsibly and with extraordinary
precaution," he writes on Aug. 21.
He stresses that there's no confirmed link to Maple Leaf products, but
that public health has confirmed the outbreak's connection to a single
A day later, McCain admits it "has not been one of the most pleasant
weeks in my 30-odd years in the food industry."
Listeria linked to plant
He grumbles about "extensive" media coverage, calling it "most
unfortunate" that the pervasiveness of listeria in plants, supermarkets
and kitchens isn't being addressed.
But there's hope in the note, with McCain saying he's received "literally
hundreds of supportive and inspirational e-mails" in the past few
days and quotes an optimistic poem sent by one about refusing to fall
down.On Aug. 23, however, public health officials confirm the link between
the listeria strain and Maple Leaf's Bartor Road plant.
"I am deeply saddened to advise you that test results have been returned,
and we have been advised the strain of listeria bacteria which caused
the illness and death of several consumers matches the listeria strain
identified in some Maple Leaf Food products," McCain writes that
"My heart goes out to all those who have become ill and to the families
who have lost loved ones," he says. Several days later, he would
offer those condolences publicly at a press conference.
Days later, McCain sends a memo questioning the reclassification of some
listeriosis-linked deaths, raising the death toll from four to 12.
He calls it "disturbing" that "elderly patients with multiple
health challenges" who had listeria in their blood, but whose deaths
were not confirmed as directly caused by the bacteria, have been added
to the list.
In the interview with the Star and CBC News, McCain defends his comment,
saying he never doubted the number of deaths but was simply echoing the
opinion of the public health agency's top doctor.
"I don't want to be crass about this, but I was told by the health
professionals that because these individuals had multiple health challenges,
they were vulnerable to all those health challenges," he said in
an interview. "They told me they could not necessarily say that it
was the listeriosis that was the cause of death."
'Coming out the other side'
September begins to look less grim for the company as listeriosis moves
off the front pages of newspapers and the Bartor Road plant gears up to
"We're coming out the other side of this now," McCain writes
on Sept. 6.
Calls to a customer hotline rapidly drop to 600 a day from a peak of 9,000,
says McCain. About 50,000 calls from the public came in during the first
weeks of the recall alone.
McCain says he's "intensely proud" of how the company handled
the outbreak, but singles out an employee for saying "very hurtful
things" about Maple Leaf ? that the meat slicers hadn't been cleaned
in years. Calling it the "most ridiculous falsification," he
says it's "good news" no one pays attention to "bullshit
like this." He says the equipment is cleaned six to eight hours a
day with sanitizers, steam and alcohol baths. Over the next few weeks,
the federal election takes the spotlight off Maple Leaf and the company
starts to focus on recovery. More than four weeks after its closure, the
Bartor Road facility reopens on Sept. 17.
'Nauseating' class action lawyers
But class action lawyers ? who first launched a lawsuit in late August
? are on McCain's mind. The "single most offensive aspect" of
the situation, McCain says in a Sept. 19 note, are "nauseating"
class action lawyers. While some claims are legitimate, he acknowledges,
others are "outright fraud." He said they collect outrageous
fees to try to extract money on the "faintest, thinnest of claims
of so-called emotional stress or illness (tummy ache stuff) without any
connection, any proof of connection or having just bought any Maple Leaf
product." McCain writes that he ignored advice from company lawyers
telling him to abstain from public comments that could expose Maple Leaf
to such lawsuits.
"I was asked very firmly to take the call from the team of lawyers
¡¦ and I said, 'I don't want to talk to them,'" he said in the interview.
"They counsel people not to take responsibility." By Sept. 27,
three of the Toronto plant's 11 lines have restarted and the company is
"recovering quite well from the recall," McCain writes. "We
still have a ways to go, but we are on the right track to recovery,"
he says. In the note, he refers to media accounts questioning the level
of oversight at meat processing plants, calling them "terribly misguided."
In one of the final memos, he writes about the fact that someone has shared
the weekly notes with the media. "Candidly, I don't think that is
'fair ball'¡¦ but it is what it is," he writes, vowing to continue
writing them. By then, the memos are back to normal, focusing more on
the business of the company and McCain is touting the company's assets
? its "exceptionally strong" business base, excellent cash flow
and diversified business. He notes internal company polling shows over
90 per cent of Canadians have high regard for the way the company dealt
with the recall and about 80 per cent said they would buy products in
the future. "History of other brands in North America that have faced
other challenges would indicate that if you do the right thing, in six,
nine, maybe 12-month time horizons, that the brand can be recovered,"
he told the Star and CBC News.
Issues Notice Clarifying Scheduling of Food Safety Assessments
bans melamine-tainted Chinese dairy products
souce from Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States issued an import alert for Chinese-made
food products on Thursday, calling for foods to be stopped at the border
unless importers can certify they are either free of dairy or free of
Two top U.S. health officials announced they will go to China next week
to open food inspection offices and talk about food safety after a series
of health scares from Chinese-made food products.
Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt and Food and Drug Administration
Commissioner Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach will also open new FDA offices
in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai.
At least four Chinese children have died and tens of thousands were made
ill this year from drinking milk powder adulterated with melamine, a chemical
used to cheat nutrition tests. Many countries have begun checking Chinese
exports of milk and egg products.
Last year, melamine-tainted pet food ingredients from China were blamed
for the deaths of dogs and cats in the United States.
The FDA said the ban widens earlier health alerts about Chinese products.
The burden will be on the importer to certify food does not contain dairy
products, or is melamine-free.
"No adverse health effects have been reported in the United States
from contamination with melamine of dairy products or dairy-containing
products," the FDA said in a statement
Melamine, used in making plastic chairs among other things, has been added
to food to simulate higher protein content and has since been found in
dairy products, eggs and animal feed, prompting recalls of Chinese-made
products around the world.
Two brands of Chinese toothpaste were banned in the Dominican Republic
in May 2007 because of fears that they contain the lethal chemical diethylene
glycol, held responsible for mass poisoning deaths in Panama in 2006.
Health Officials Address Food Safety Concerns During Northeastern PA Tour
Last update: 7:00 p.m. EST Nov. 10, 2008
HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov 10, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ -- State
agriculture and health officials touring the state to gain insight and
raise public awareness about important food safety issues made four stops
in northeastern Pennsylvania today.
Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff and Deputy Health Secretary Michael
Huff visited the area as part of the Strategy for Agriculture and Food
Excellence, or SAFE, initiative, which is a comprehensive plan to address
food safety and defense from the farm to the fork.
"Our modern food system is complex and relies on careful preparation,
handling and service from beginning stages in farm fields to the end consumer,"
said Wolff. "These tours are an important step in understanding the
precautions Pennsylvania producers, companies, manufacturers and organizations
are already taking to ensure the safety of the food supply produced in
During day three of the four-part tour, Wolff and Huff visited the Wilkes-Barre
City Health Department and the city's Commission of Economic Opportunity/Weinberg
Food Bank. The pair then toured the Cargill Taylor Beef plant in Wyalusing,
Bradford County, and Furmano Foods in Northumberland County.
"A safe food supply is critical to public health, which means each
and every one of us has a role in ensuring the food we eat is safe,"
Huff said. "A collaborative approach between all participants in
the process, from food processors and consumers to state and federal safety
agencies, is the only sure way to address this potential public health
"The SAFE initiative sends a clear message to all Pennsylvanians
that we are committed to protecting their health through a safe, nutritious
and abundant food supply."
The tour also included a roundtable discussion at the Columbia County
Extension Office in Bloomsburg with Pennsylvania Emergency Management
Director Robert P. French and a panel of food safety experts and industry
"It is important that all Pennsylvanians recognize threats to our
food supply, including agro-terrorism," said French. "If food
security and defense problems occur, we are committed to identifying and
actively containing any and all food safety threats quickly to help ensure
the continued health of all commonwealth citizens."
One stop on the tour remains and includes a public roundtable discussion
featuring consumer testimony about food safety. The discussion will be
held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 17, at the Westmoreland County Conservation
District Center in Greensburg.
"The roundtable discussions provide valuable input from all aspects
of the food continuum, from producers to consumers," said Wolff.
"The information we gather through this process will be brought back
to Harrisburg to develop consumer-focused food safety and security protocols
and practices, helping to strengthen the security of our food supply by
facilitating coordination among federal, regional, state and local efforts."
SAFE is a cooperative effort between the Pennsylvania departments of Agriculture
and Health, in coordination with PEMA and the Office of Homeland Security,
as well as input from food processors, retailers and health officials.
Offers Tips To Safely Handle And Prepare Stuffing This Thanksgiving Holiday
Click here for more information
Outbreak Tied to Dry Dog Food Continues
source from: http://health.usnews.com
Eight more people -- mostly young children -- infected, bringing total
to 79, CDC says
THURSDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Eight more cases of people becoming
infected with salmonella traced to dry dog food have been identified,
U.S. health officials said Thursday.
The outbreak, which started in 2006, marks the first time that dry dog
food has been identified as a source of the bacterial infection in people.
As of Oct. 31, 79 cases of salmonella Schwarzengrund had been reported
in 21 states. Most of the cases involved children 2 years old and younger,
according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"We have been following an outbreak of illness due to a specific
strain of salmonella. And in 2007, we linked those human illnesses with
contaminated pet food produced at one Pennsylvania pet food plant,"
said report co-author Dr. Casey Barton Behravesh, a CDC epidemiologist.
"In 2008, we have identified eight additional cases."
The dog food has been traced to a Mars Petcare U.S. plant in Everson,
Pa. On Sept. 12, the company announced a recall of approximately 23,109
tons of dry dog and cat food sold under 105 brand names. The plant is
now closed, the CDC said in the Nov. 7 issue of its Morbidity and Mortality
Despite the recall and the plant closing, Barton Behravesh said the threat
of more infections exists. "The issue is that since dry pet food
has a one-year shelf life, it is possible that contaminated products from
even our 2007 recall could still be in the homes of ill persons and could
lead to additional illness," she said.
In late 2007, the plant was shut down for several months for remodeling,
cleaning and disinfection, Barton Behravesh said.
"There was a three-month period with no new cases, then cases started
again. Contamination was found in the plant again, so it is possible that
some of the newer food could be causing the recent increase in cases.
As of Oct. 1, the plant was permanently closed," she said.
Barton Behravesh said people should check their dry pet food to see if
it was made by Mars Petcare U.S. If it was, they should check the company's
Web site to see if their food was part of the recall.
There's a good chance more cases will occur, Barton Behravesh said.
Young children are particularly vulnerable, because they're more likely
to get sick from small doses of salmonella, Barton Behravesh said. The
primary cause of infection was feeding a pet in the kitchen, she said.
Barton Behravesh noted that no animals have gotten sick during the outbreak.
"However, we did find this germ in stool samples from some pets in
case households," she said. "That shows that a perfectly happy,
healthy pet could be shedding this germ from contaminated food. That could
also lead to some routes of contamination in the household," she
Dr. Pascal James Imperato, dean and Distinguished Service Professor of
the Graduate Program in Public Health at SUNY Downstate Medical Center
in Brooklyn, N.Y., thinks there will be more outbreaks of salmonella from
contaminated pet food.
"Human salmonella infections associated with dry pet foods are likely
to be a continuing problem in the United States," he said. "Fortunately,
the annual number of such cases has been small."
People can take a few simple steps to protect themselves from salmonella
infection from pet food, Imperato said.
"These include regular washing of pet feeding bowls to prevent bacterial
growth; the thorough washing of hands with soap and warm water for at
least 20 seconds after handling dry pet foods, including pet treats; and
scrupulously avoiding contact between dry pet foods and foods consumed
by humans and food preparation surfaces and utensils," he said.
Infection with the salmonella bacteria produces an illness called salmonellosis.
According to the CDC, most infected people develop diarrhea, fever, and
abdominal cramps within 12 to 72 hours. The illness typically lasts four
to seven days, and most people recover without treatment. But, for some,
the diarrhea may be so severe that they need to be hospitalized. In these
patients, the infection can spread from the intestines to the bloodstream,
and then to other parts of the body, leading to death unless antibiotics
are administered promptly. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired
immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.
Sampling and Testing of Raw Ground Beef Components other than Trim and
Imported Raw Ground Beef Components for Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157:H7
could increase juice safety
By Jane Byrne, 13-Nov-2008
Source of Article: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/
A combination of sonication and osmotic evaporation represents a promising
new technology that could be designed to athermally produce safe, concentrated
fruit juices, claims a new study.
The results derived from the research were published in the Journal of
Food Safety and indicate that combining sonication with osmotic pressure
during storage of concentrated orange juice provides a way of achieving
a 5 log reduction of Salmonella spp.
The authors have termed the technology designed to athermally process
fruit juices as ¡®osmosonication¡¯, and claim that besides the nutritional
and sensory benefits provided by athermal processes, final products would
also be safe for the consumer.
Desire for natural
Consumers are increasingly seeking natural products that have been minimally
processed in order to avoid destruction or partial removal of the health
promoting substances present in fruits, according to the study.
However, the authors state that consumption of minimally processed fruit
juices has increased the number of outbreaks of foodborne illnesses in
recent years, with orange juice frequently identified as the vehicle of
transmission in several of these outbreaks, many of them related to Salmonella
The authors said the aim of their research was to evaluate the effect
of osmotic pressure alone, or combined with the application of sonication,
on the reduction of Salmonella spp. in concentrated orange juice.
The researchers explained that an osmotic pressure of 12.6 MPa, low pH
and a 24 hour storage period, when combined, appear to significantly reduce
the Salmonella population in the juice by almost 2.7 log cfu/mL.
¡°However, the 5 log reduction goal normally targeted by food industries
was not achieved and therefore additional treatments, alone or combined,
must be implemented to guarantee food safety of the athermally processed
juice,¡± said the scientists.
The researchers said that, in contrast, sonication combined with an increase
in osmotic pressure strongly affects the survival of Samonella spp. in
orange juice after at least 24 hours of storage.
¡°By quickly concentrating a juice to reach the osmotic pressure of 12.6
MPa, while applying sonication for one hour, a 5 log cfu/mL reduction
of Salmonella spp. can be reached between 24 and 168 hours of storage,
which is a promising result,¡± claim the authors.
The researchers said that based on the positive results of their study
there is a need to design equipment and optimise operating parameters
including in-line sonication times and flow rates in order to advance
this new technology.
Source: Journal of Food Safety
Published Online ahead of print DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-4565.2008.00127.x
Combined effect of osmotic pressure and sonication on the reduction of
Salmonella Spp in concentrated orange juice uthors: E. Wong, A.M. Perez,
may reduce Clostridium in chickens
Source of Article: http://members.ift.org/IFT/Pubs/Newsletters/weekly/nl_110508.htm
November 5, 2008
A new study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture¡¯s Agricultural Research
Service shows that hops contain substances that control pathogenic bacteria
in the intestines of chickens.
The hop plant (Humulus lupulus) contains bitter acids known to be potent
antimicrobials, including lupulone, which is believed to control levels
of the disease-causing agent Clostridium perfringens in chickens. Researchers
examined the effect of feeding different concentrations of lupulone to
broiler chickens to determine the compound¡¯s impact on Clostridium populations
in the intestinal tracts of birds inoculated with C. perfringens.
After 22 days?the timeframe associated with clostridial disease in broiler
chickens?C. perfringens counts were significantly reduced in the lupulone-treated
group compared to another group of chickens that did not receive the lupulone
treatment. The reductions ranged from 30 to 50 percent.
This research was published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.
Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Oils Inhibit Salmonella Activity
Source of Article: http://www.naturalnews.com/024723.html
Thursday, November 06, 2008 by: David Gutierrez
(NaturalNews) Essential oils extracted from oranges can inhibit the activity
of salmonella and may be useful as natural antimicrobial agents, according
to a study published in the Journal of Food Science.
"Essential oils from citrus offer the potential for all natural antimicrobials
for use in improving the safety of organic or all natural foods,"
the researchers said.
Prior studies have demonstrated that various citrus essential oils can
function as natural preservatives by inhibiting the activity of fungi
and bacteria. In the current study, researchers exposed 11 different strains
of salmonella to seven different orange essential oils: cold-pressed Valencia
orange oil terpeneless, Valencia orange oil, cold-pressed orange terpenes,
high-purity orange terpenes, d-limonene, terpenes from orange essence
and five-fold concentrated Valencia orange oil.
Three of the oils inhibited salmonella activity: orange terpenes, single-folded
d-limonene, and orange essence terpenes. The most effective essential
oil was orange essence terpenes, with a minimum inhibitory concentration
of between 0.125 and 0.5 percent. The other two essential oils had minimum
inhibitory concentrations of 1.0 percent.
The researchers then examined the chemical makeup of the essential oils
with mass chromatography mass spectrometry analysis. They found that d-limonene
composed 94 percent of the oils, with myrcene composing another 3 percent.
The results follow those of another recent study, conducted by researchers
from Miguel Hernandez University in Alicante, Spain, and published in
the journal Food Chemistry. In that study, researchers found that oils
from grapefruit, orange, lemon and mandarin all inhibited the activity
of the common food molds Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus, Penicillium
chrysogenum and Penicillium verrucosum.
"It seems that citrus essential oils could be considered suitable
alternatives to chemical additives for use in the food industry, attending
to the needs for safety and satisfying the demand of consumers for natural
components," those researchers wrote.
Responding to consumer demand for more natural foods, food manufacturers
have been increasingly seeking alternatives to synthetic preservatives.
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