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Food Safety: Farm to Table

Investigators
Mireles DeWitt, Christina
Institutions
Oklahoma State University
Start date
2010
End date
2012
Objective
  1. Determine how ammonium hydroxide, when incorporated into a brine applied to fresh meat, impacts pathogenic microorganisms Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella serotype Typhimurium.
  2. To develop a quantitative real-time immuno-PCR approach for rapid and sensitive detection of mycoflora in poultry feed/ingredients and airborne dust on the farm.
  3. To determine the effect of surface treating pork with lactobacillus to reduce both Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella serotype Typhimurium.
  4. To advance the chemical detection technology, based on a solid-state sensor array, to autonomously detect, identify, and quantitate histamine, cadaverine, and putrescine in real-time.
  5. To develop an inexpensive and cost effective method incorporating nanotechnology as a convenient delivery system for application of antimicrobials on the surface of (raw or processed) meats.
More information

NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Improving Food Safety is a key initiative for our nation. Food pathogens such as E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella are of particular concern. In meat and poultry, alone, over 150 million pounds have been recalled in just the past 2 years. A primary focus of several objectives in this grant will be to reduce pathogens in fresh and processed beef and pork through the use of both traditional and novel (nano-technology) processing techniques. It also includes investigations into the development of rapid, state-of-the-art methods to detect pathogens and toxins in foods before they make it to the consumer's table. Food Safety impacts everyone: producer, processor and consumer. A food safety recall due to pathogen contamination and outgrowth creates not only a economic burden on the food processor, which at times can be crippling, but it impacts in a worse case scenario it can impact the health and lives of consumers. It is important to continue to strive to improve on the processes and methods used to alleviate and detect these lethal pathogens.

APPROACH: Objective 1. Product will be injected with ammonium hydroxide after innoculation with pathogens. Response method design will be used to evaluate brine and salt concentrations. Samples after injection will be sampled on the surface and interior. Surface samples will be held and sampled over a 14 d period. Interior samples will be collected. Enumeration will be conducted using standard methods. Objective 2. Paramagnetic immunomagnetic capture beads will prepared to target aflatoxin or fumonisin detection by conjugating reporter DNA to antibodies. Realtime Immuno qPCR will be used to amplify primers using the reporter DNA for detection and quanitification. Objective 3. Pork fat and loins (injected and non-injected) will be inoculated with pathogens. Fat will be surface treated with lactobacillus isolates (probiotics), packaged and placed in retail display. Samples will be selected and pathogens will be enumerated daily for one week. Loins will be similarily inoculated. The surface will also be treated with lactobacillus. Product will be packaged, placed in retail display and pathogens enumerated daily for one week. Product will also be color scored. Finally, loins (injected and non-injected) in a separate experiment will just be surface treated with lactobacillus, packaged and placed in retail display. Samples will be collected and evaluated daily for microbial load and sensory attributes. Product will also be color scored daily. Objective 4. Sensor array materials for detection of histamine, cadaverine and putrescine will be optimized based on response characteristics and interferent gases discovered in yellowfin tuna sampling. The gas delivery system will be modified to include three main interferents from GCMS results of the off gassing of yellowfin tuna and test optimized sensor arrays for performance in the new interferences. Signal processing and pattern recognition algorithms based on sensor array response characteristics will be optimized. A prototype will be designed and tested and validated. Objective 5. Anitmicrobials will be selected attached to packaging film using bi-functional coupling agents. Nanoparticles (diatomacious earth) will also be adhered with bifunctional coupling agents. Nanoparticles will also be encapsulated with nano-encapsulated particles of select melting temperatures. Minimum inhibitory concentrations for coupled antimicrobials will be evaluated against uncoupled antimicrobials.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
OKL02783
Accession number
221555
Categories
Mycotoxins
Natural Toxins
Bacterial Pathogens
Commodities
Meat, Poultry, Game