The threshold of toxicological concern concept in risk assessment. (33/118)

The concept that "safe levels of exposure" for humans can be identified for individual chemicals is central to the risk assessment of compounds with known toxicological profiles. The Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC) is a concept that refers to the establishment of a level of exposure for all chemicals, whether or not there are chemical-specific toxicity data, below which there would be no appreciable risk to human health. The concept proposes that a low level of exposure with a negligible risk can be identified for many chemicals, including those of unknown toxicity, based on knowledge of their chemical structures. The present paper aims to describe the history of the TTC principle, its use to date, its potential future applications and the incorporation of the TTC principle in the Risk Assessment paradigm.  (+info)

Diversity of bacteria growing in natural mineral water after bottling. (34/118)

Bacterial growth occurs in noncarbonated natural mineral waters a few days after filling and storage at room temperature, a phenomenon known for more than 40 years. Using the full-cycle rRNA approach, we monitored the development of the planktonic bacterial community in a noncarbonated natural mineral water after bottling. Seven 16S rRNA gene libraries, comprising 108 clones in total, were constructed from water samples taken at various days after bottling and from two different bottle sizes. Sequence analyses identified 11 operational taxonomic units (OTUs), all but one affiliated with the betaproteobacterial order Burkholderiales (6 OTUs) or the class Alphaproteobacteria (4 OTUs). Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was applied in combination with DAPI (4',6'-diamidino-2-phenylindole) staining, viability staining, and microscopic counting to quantitatively monitor changes in bacterial community composition. A growth curve similar to that of a bacterium grown in a batch culture was recorded. In contrast to the current perception that Gammaproteobacteria are the most important bacterial components of natural mineral water in bottles, Betaproteobacteria dominated the growing bacterial community and accounted for 80 to 98% of all bacteria detected by FISH in the late-exponential and stationary-growth phases. Using previously published and newly designed genus-specific probes, members of the betaproteobacterial genera Hydrogenophaga, Aquabacterium, and Polaromonas were found to constitute a significant proportion of the bacterial flora (21 to 86% of all bacteria detected by FISH). For the first time, key genera responsible for bacterial growth in a natural mineral water were identified by applying molecular cultivation-independent techniques.  (+info)

Effect of high hydrostatic pressure on the barrier properties of polyamide-6 films. (35/118)

Little is known about the barrier properties of polymer films during high pressure processing of prepackaged foods. In order to learn more about this, we examined the influence of high hydrostatic pressure on the permeation of raspberry ketone (dissolved in ethanol/water) through polyamide-6 films at temperatures between 20 and 60 degrees C. Permeation was lowered by increasing pressure at all temperatures. At 23 degrees C, the increasing pressure sequence 0.1, 50, 100, 150, and 200 MPa correlated with the decreasing permeation coefficients P/(10(9) cm(2) s-1) of 6.2, 3.8, 3.0, 2.2, and 1.6. Analysis of the permeation kinetics indicated that this effect was due to a reduced diffusion coefficient. Pressure and temperature acted antagonistically to each other. The decrease in permeation at 200 MPa was compensated for by a temperature increase of 20 degrees C. After release of pressure, the former permeation coefficients were recovered, which suggests that this 'pressure effect' is reversible. Taken together, our data revealed no detrimental effects of high hydrostatic pressure on the barrier properties of polymer films.  (+info)

Lactobacillus oligofermentans sp. nov., associated with spoilage of modified-atmosphere-packaged poultry products. (36/118)

Unidentified lactic acid bacterium (LAB) isolates which had mainly been detected in spoiled, marinated, modified atmosphere packaged (MAP) broiler meat products during two previous studies, were identified and analyzed for their phenotypic properties and the capability to produce biogenic amines. To establish the taxonomic position of these isolates, 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, numerical analysis of ribopatterns, and DNA-DNA hybridization experiments were done. Unexpectedly for a meat-spoilage-associated LAB, the strains utilized glucose very weakly. According to the API 50 CHL test, arabinose and xylose were the only carbohydrates strongly fermented. None of the six strains tested for production of histamine, tyramine, tryptamine, phenylethylamine, putrescine, and cadaverine were able to produce these main meat-associated biogenic amines in vitro. The polyphasic taxonomy approach showed that these strains represent a new Lactobacillus species. The six isolates sequenced for the 16S rRNA encoding genes shared the highest similarity (95.0 to 96.3%) with the sequence of the Lactobacillus durianis type strain. In the phylogenetic tree, these isolates formed a distinct cluster within the Lactobacillus reuteri group, which also includes L. durianis. Numerical analyses of HindIII-EcoRI ribotypes placed all isolates together in a cluster with seven subclusters well separated from the L. reuteri group reference strains. The DNA-DNA hybridization levels between Lactobacillus sp. nov. isolates varied from 67 to 96%, and low hybridization levels (3 to 15%) were obtained with the L. durianis type strain confirming that these isolates belong to the same species different from L. durianis. The name Lactobacillus oligofermentans sp. nov. is proposed, with strain LMG 22743T (also known as DSM 15707T or AMKR18T) as the type strain.  (+info)

Community structure and diversity of biofilms from a beer bottling plant as revealed using 16S rRNA gene clone libraries. (37/118)

The microbial composition of biofilms from a beer bottling plant was analyzed by a cultivation independent analysis of the 16S rRNA genes. Clone libraries were differentiated by amplified 16S rRNA gene restriction analysis and representative clones from each group were sequenced. The diversity of the clone libraries was comparable with the diversity found for environmental samples. No evidences for the presence of strictly anaerobic taxa or important beer spoilers were found, indicating that biofilms developed for more than 6 months at the plant formed no appropriate habitat for those microorganisms. The genus Methylobacterium was one of the dominating groups of the clone libraries. The size of this population was assessed by fluorescence in situ hybridization and fatty acid analysis. In addition, considerable numbers of clones were assigned to uncultivated organisms.  (+info)

Effects of polyvinyl chloride overwrap film, high-oxygen modified atmosphere packaging, or ultra-low-oxygen modified atmosphere packaging on bone marrow discoloration in beef humerus, rib, thoracic vertebra, and scapula. (38/118)

Meat retailers have reported bone marrow discoloration to be a problem, especially in modified atmosphere packages (MAP). Therefore, it is important to determine the prevalence and cause(s) of bone marrow discoloration in different beef bones and packaging systems. Thirty-six beef humeri, ribs, scapulas, and thoracic vertebrae from USDA Select and Choice carcasses were obtained from a commercial abattoir, cut into 2.54-cm-thick sections at 4 d postmortem, and packaged into 1 of 3 systems: 1) polyvinyl chloride film (PVC) overwrap; 2) high-oxygen (80% O2, 20% CO2) MAP; and 3) ultra-low-oxygen (70% N2, 30% CO2) MAP. Instrumental reflectance and visual color scores were taken on d 0, 2, and 4, and on d 0 to 4 of display, respectively. Bone marrow was extracted from humeri, ribs, and thoracic vertebrae for analysis but not from scapulas. Ribs, scapulas, and thoracic vertebrae packaged in PVC and high-oxygen MAP developed undesirable gray or black discoloration. In ultra-low-oxygen MAP, mean visual color scores were acceptable throughout the entire display period. Discoloration (darkening) was more extensive for ribs, scapulas, and thoracic vertebrae than for humeri, especially for bones packaged in PVC and high-oxygen MAP. Humeri had lower (P < 0.05) a* values (larger positive a* values indicate a redder color) than the other bones. The a* values for ribs, scapulas, and thoracic vertebrae decreased (P < 0.05) over time. Chroma showed that bone marrow discolored during display, but graying was dramatically less for all bones packaged in ultra-low-oxygen MAP and for humeri in PVC and high-oxygen MAP. Humeri marrow had lower (P < 0.05) 2-thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) than did ribs and thoracic vertebrae marrow. Ultra-low-oxygen MAP resulted in the least amount of change in TBARS from d 0 to 4, whereas thoracic vertebrae marrow had greater (P < 0.05) TBARS values at d 4 of display than at d 0 in PVC and high-oxygen MAP. Humeri marrow had dramatically less total Fe and hemoglobin than did that of ribs and thoracic vertebrae for all packaging systems. Myoglobin was undetectable in humeri marrow. The much larger amounts of Fe and hemoglobin in ribs and thoracic vertebrae likely contribute to marrow discoloration. Bone marrow discoloration was distinct in ribs, scapulas, and thoracic vertebrae packaged in PVC or high-oxygen MAP. Bones packaged in ultra-low-oxygen MAP had minimal discoloration.  (+info)

Nutrition function, health and related claims on packaged Australian food products--prevalence and compliance with regulations. (39/118)

Australia and New Zealand are currently reviewing the regulations governing nutrition function, health and related claims on foods. Health claims currently are not permitted on food labels, with one exception. The aim of this study was to describe the use of such claims on packaged food for sale in Australia (excluding nutrient content claims) prior to any changes to the regulations, and measure compliance with existing regulations. A survey was conducted of the labelling of 7850 products (including multiple pack sizes of individual foods) in 47 different food categories on sale in New South Wales in 2003. A total of 2098 nutrition function, health or related claims and 12 therapeutic claims were recorded. Fourteen percent of products carried some sort of claim. If nutrient function and general health maintenance claims are excluded, 8.1% of products carried a health or related claim. Using the claims categorisation proposed by Food Standards Australia New Zealand for a new standard on claims, general-level claims were found on 9.8% of products and high-level and therapeutic claims (illegal at the time) on 1.2%. The food categories with the highest proportion of products carrying claims were sports drinks (92%), energy drinks (84%), sports bars (57%) and breakfast cereals (54%). 118 high-level and therapeutic claims did not conform to current food standards and there were many general-level claims for ingredient benefits that were unlikely to be able to be scientifically substantiated. The results of this survey suggest that more than 5% of claims were not complying with the current regulations and that the standards were not being fully enforced. To be effective, the new standard will need to be accompanied by clear guidelines for manufacturers on requirements for substantiating claims. Comprehensive education and enforcement frameworks also will be needed, to reduce the number of illegal or apparently unsubstantiated claims.  (+info)

Botulism from home-canned bamboo shoots--Nan Province, Thailand, March 2006. (40/118)

On March 15, 2006, multiple persons with symptoms of nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and dyspnea visited the emergency department at Baan Luang district hospital in Nan province, Thailand; one person required mechanical ventilation. A team from the Bureau of Epidemiology, Department of Disease Control, Thailand Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) initiated an investigation, in collaboration with the Surveillance and Rapid Response Team from Baan Luang district. This report summarizes the investigation conducted during March 15-26, which determined that the outbreak was caused by foodborne botulism from home-canned bamboo shoots and affected 163 rural villagers who shared a common meal. The last case was identified March 21; no further cases of foodborne botulism have been identified in the region.  (+info)