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We think: Obama and Congress need to put food safety on their agenda
November 14, 2008 source from:
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 of improvements.

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.

Imported Food Under the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act from FDA

Lettuce considered possible culprit in Ontario E. coli outbreak
Last Updated: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 | 6:58 AM ET Comments61Recommend37CBC News

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.

Classroom closes
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.

Still no confirmation North Bay students contracted E. coli
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 that
general diarrhea or seasonal illness, usually viral, is also circulating in our community," Dr. Catherine Whiting said in a release issued Friday.
"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.

Maple Leaf CEO's memos to workers give glimpse of struggles with listeria
source from:
Special investigation by CBC News/Toronto Star
Last Updated: Saturday, November 8, 2008 | 9:27 AM ET Comments87Recommend294CBC News
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 scrub.
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 DNA pattern.
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 same day.
"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 reopen.
"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.

FSIS Issues Notice Clarifying Scheduling of Food Safety Assessments

U.S. 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 melamine.
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.

Agriculture, 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 the commonwealth."
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 problem.
"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 leaders.
"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.

USDA Offers Tips To Safely Handle And Prepare Stuffing This Thanksgiving Holiday

Click here for more information

Salmonella Outbreak Tied to Dry Dog Food Continues
source from:
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 Weekly Report.
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 said.
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.

Routine Sampling and Testing of Raw Ground Beef Components other than Trim and Imported Raw Ground Beef Components for Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157:H7

New technology could increase juice safety
By Jane Byrne, 13-Nov-2008
Source of Article:
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 species.
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.

Osmotic pressure
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.

Combination effect
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, F. Vaillant

Hops extract may reduce Clostridium in chickens
Source of Article:
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

Orange Essential Oils Inhibit Salmonella Activity
Source of Article:
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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