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Food Safety Post Harvest


<OL> <LI> The Kansas food processing industry will adopt technologies and intervention strategies that will result in a safer food supply. <LI> Industry/commodity groups, meat and food processors, regulatory agencies, and consumer groups will increase knowledge and understanding of food safety principles and practices to support enhancement of their in assuring a safe food supply. <LI> Food processing operations will reduce spoilage and potential food borne pathogens as a result of sanitation and HACCP training/implementation. <LI> Food Science faculty will effectively communicate science-based information to consumers from information collected through these projects

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NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Promote a safe and wholesome food supply from production to consumption.

APPROACH: Determine the metabolism and toxicity of radiolytic compounds including alkylcyclobutanones in irradiated food products. Controlled-phase carbon dioxide and food grade sanitizers will be evaluated as pathogen antimicrobial treatments on beef carcasses and trimmings. The effectiveness of these techniques will be monitored with conventional and newly developed rapid microbial techniques. Analytical techniques to rapidly monitor irradiation application, heterocyclic amine, and fusarium mycotoxin residues will be developed. Food safety education, training and support materials will be developed for Kansas food and meat companies, food service operations, consumers and entrepreneurs. In addition, process authority services will be provide for the Kansas food manufacturers.

PROGRESS: 2007/01 TO 2007/12 <BR>
OUTPUTS: Heterocyclic amines (HCAs), a group of chemicals formed during high temperature cooking of meat and fish, are potent mutagens and are suspected to play a role in various cancers in human. Research has shown that marinades containing spices from the aromatic mint family can essentially eliminate heterocyclic amine (HCA) formation. Retail barbecue sauces and marinades also appear to dramatically reduce HCA formation in grilled steak yet we have only sampled several products. Processes that enhance water holding capacity can inhibit HCAs levels. HCA levels were reduced by 60 % in cooked enhanced boneless pork loins containing only water, salt, and sodium phosphates. Marinated enhanced beef steaks (retail) exhibited a 50 % reduction as contrasted to untreated steaks. The jerky compliance guideline from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service recommends that water activity (aw) be used for the determination of drying and safety rather than only moisture-protein-ratio. However, no standardized sample preparation method was included in the guideline for analyzing water activity levels in jerky. Two sample preparation methods were examined for whole muscle (WM) and chopped and formed (CF) beef jerky. Results indicate that processors should use the intact hexagonal shape method for WM jerky to obtain a more conservative aw level especially if aw values are near 0.80, a margin of safety. Pathatrix is a unique, large volume, recirculating immunomagnetic capture system that selectively concentrates low levels of target microbial pathogens from complex food matrices. Pathatrix was used to evaluate Escherichia coli 0157:H7 in broth and yogurt. The finding indicated the Pathatrix system has applications for rapid and precise detection of E.coli O157:H7. If avian influenza (HPAI) were to be discovered in a U.S. commercial flock, the response would involve culling/depopulation of infected flocks. Because the U.S. is a large exporter (account for 27 percent of global exports), reduced U.S. supply will lead to higher world prices absent any demand reduction. A U.S. case of HPAI would be followed by trade restrictions from importing countries. Assuming a total ban for a period of one year, the total loss in export revenue is estimated at around $2 billion with domestic consumers benefiting from lower domestic prices. World market prices would increase benefiting producers in HPAI-free countries. While proper cooking skills the bird flu virus and would protect consumers if the disease was found in the U.S., it is likely that some reduction in domestic demand would accompany an announcement of bird flu's discovery in this country. Policy analysis, historical-studies and multidisciplinary-synthesis research has appeared in a variety of formats during the last year. In addition, the Frontier website - - has been revamped, featuring not only research content but also multimedia and pod-casting features.<BR> PARTICIPANTS: J.S. Smith is the project coordinator. K. Blakeslee, E.A.E. Boyle, K. Getty, C. Kastner, J. Marsden, R. Phebus, K. Schmidt, T. Herald, S. Fox and D. Retzlaff are co-investigators. J. Kastner is a contributor to the project. <BR> TARGET AUDIENCES: Target audiences include scientists active in post-harvest food safety research and teaching and other profesionals and lay audiences with a general interest in food safety.
IMPACT: 2007/01 TO 2007/12 <BR>
These studies showed that marinades, sauces and processes have a great impact on reducing carcinogenic HCAs levels in meat. These ingredients and methods enhance water-holding capacity, thus reducing the transport of precursors (creatine, creatinine and sugars) towards the surface during cooking leading to lower amount of HCAs in meat products. Our results clearly show that simple and practical modifications to cooking practices by the food processing industry, restaurants and home makers can greatly inhibit the dietary intake of carcinogenic HCAs. The focus on microbial food safety by the K-State food microbiology group continues to be on methods of development and validation studies. That work continues to be transferred to end users through efforts such as the Rapid Methods and Automation in Microbiology Workshop. The chemical food safety effort continues to attract recognition because of work on ammonia contamination, safety of grilled meat, and methods for measuring irradiation of beef. Along with the long standing emphasis on microbial and chemical food safety has been transfer of that information through distance education initiatives. Additionally, the economics, policy, and trade implication of food safety as well as food security are also chronicled in scientific and popular publications.

Kastner, Curtis
Kansas State University
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