Microbial quality of oysters sold in Western Trinidad and potential health risk to consumers.
The prevalence and characteristics of Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp. as well as counts of E. coli in raw oysters, condiments/spices, and raw oyster cocktails sampled from 72 vendors across Western Trinidad were determined. The microbial quality of the water used in the preparation of raw oysters was also investigated. Of 200 samples each of raw oysters, condiments/spices and oyster cocktails tested, 154 (77.0%), 89 (44.5%) and 154 (77.0%) respectively yielded E. coli. The differences were statistically significant (P = < 0.001; chi square = 62.91). The mean E. coli count per g in the ready-to-eat oyster cocktail ranged from 1.5 x 10(3) +/- 2.7 x 10(3) in Couva to 8.7x10(6) +/- 4.9x10(7) in San Fernando. One hundred and forty-six (73.0%) oyster cocktails contaminated with E. coli had counts that exceeded the recommended standard of 16 per g. Of a total of 590 E. coli isolates from various sources tested, 24 (4.1%), 20 (3.4%) and 69 (11.7%) were mucoid, haemolytic and non-sorbitol fermenters respectively. Twelve (2.0%) isolates of E. coli were O157 strains, while 92 (46.0%) of 200 E. coli isolates tested belonged to enteropathogenic serogroups. Ninety (45.0%) and 73 (36.5%) of 200 water samples contained total coliforms and faecal coliforms respectively, with counts that exceeded 2.2 coliforms per 100 ml. Salmonella spp. were isolated from 7 (3.5%), 1 (0.5%) and 2 (1.0%) of 200 samples each, of raw oysters, condiments/spices and oyster cocktails respectively. Oysters pose a health risk to consumers in Trinidad, particularly from colibacillosis and salmonellosis, and the need for increased public awareness of this hazard cannot be over-emphasized. (+info)
Curcumin has been widely used as a spice and coloring agent in foods. Recently, curcumin was found to possess chemopreventive effects against skin cancer, forestomach cancer, colon cancer and oral cancer in mice. Clinical trials of curcumin for prevention of human cancers are currently ongoing. In this study, we examine the chemopreventive effect of curcumin on murine hepatocarcinogenesis. C3H/HeN mice were injected i.p. with N-diethylnitrosamine (DEN) at the age of 5 weeks. The curcumin group started eating 0.2% curcumin-containing diet 4 days before DEN injection until death. The mice were then serially killed at the scheduled times to examine the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and changes in intermediate biological markers. At the age of 42 weeks, the curcumin group, as compared with the control group (DEN alone), had an 81% reduction in multiplicity (0.5 versus 2.57) and a 62% reduction in incidence (38 versus 100%) of development of HCC. A series of intermediate biological markers were examined by western blot. While hepatic tissues obtained from the DEN-treated mice showed a remarkable increase in the levels of p21(ras), PCNA and CDC2 proteins, eating a curcumin-containing diet reversed the levels to normal values. These results indicate that curcumin effectively inhibits DEN-induced hepatocarcinogenesis in the mouse. The underlying mechanisms of the phenomenon and the feasibility of using curcumin in the chemoprevention of human HCC should be further explored. (+info)
Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors from clove (Syzgium aromaticum).
The ellagitannins, casuarictin and eugeniin, were isolated as rat intestinal maltase inhibitors from methanol extracts of clove (Syzgium aromaticum). Eugeniin showed inhibitory activity with an IC50 value of 10(-3) M. A structure-activity relationship study among the isolates and their related compound, penta-O-galloyl-beta-D-glucose, indicates that an increasing number of galloyl units in the molecule might lead to an increase in the inhibitory activity. Eugeniin also inhibited maltase activity toward the human intestinal epithelial cell line, Caco-2. (+info)
The curry spice curcumin reduces oxidative damage and amyloid pathology in an Alzheimer transgenic mouse.
Inflammation in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients is characterized by increased cytokines and activated microglia. Epidemiological studies suggest reduced AD risk associates with long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Whereas chronic ibuprofen suppressed inflammation and plaque-related pathology in an Alzheimer transgenic APPSw mouse model (Tg2576), excessive use of NSAIDs targeting cyclooxygenase I can cause gastrointestinal, liver, and renal toxicity. One alternative NSAID is curcumin, derived from the curry spice turmeric. Curcumin has an extensive history as a food additive and herbal medicine in India and is also a potent polyphenolic antioxidant. To evaluate whether it could affect Alzheimer-like pathology in the APPSw mice, we tested a low (160 ppm) and a high dose of dietary curcumin (5000 ppm) on inflammation, oxidative damage, and plaque pathology. Low and high doses of curcumin significantly lowered oxidized proteins and interleukin-1beta, a proinflammatory cytokine elevated in the brains of these mice. With low-dose but not high-dose curcumin treatment, the astrocytic marker GFAP was reduced, and insoluble beta-amyloid (Abeta), soluble Abeta, and plaque burden were significantly decreased by 43-50%. However, levels of amyloid precursor (APP) in the membrane fraction were not reduced. Microgliosis was also suppressed in neuronal layers but not adjacent to plaques. In view of its efficacy and apparent low toxicity, this Indian spice component shows promise for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease. (+info)
Effects of seasoning and heating device on mutagenicity and heterocyclic amines in cooked beef.
Pan-roasted beef showed a lower mutagenicity after various degrees of cooking than charcoaled one. The high mutagenicity of charcoaled beef was due to the formation of more heterocyclic amines, especially AalphaC (2-amino-9H-pyrido- [2,3-b]indole) and PhIP (2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine) because of rapid and direct heating on the surface of the meat at a high temperature. Seasoning decreased mutagenicity of pan-roasted beef except the very well done sample with unchanged heterocyclic amine contents, but increased mutagenicity of charcoaled beef with decreased levels of AalphaC and PhIP, probably due to the change of heterocyclic amine precursors or alternatively to the occurrence of other mutagens. (+info)
Release characteristics of flavor from spray-dried powder in boiling water and during rice cooking.
The release characteristics of flavor in boiling water and the flavor retention in the rice after cooking were investigated by using spray dried powder in encapsulated in or emulsified with d-limonene or ethyl n-hexanoate in cyclodextrin and maltodextrin, or in gum arabic and maltodextrin. The behavior of flavor release into the boiling water was well simulated by Avrami's equation. The retention of d-limonene and ethyl n-hexanoate in cooked rice was correlated in each case with the flavor amount of spray-dried powder added. (+info)
Determination of antioxidant activity of herbs by ESR.
Water extracts of 32 herbs that are constituents of curry and curry powder were screened for superoxide anion radical (O2.-) scavenging activity. Among the screened samples, only clove, allspice, and basil were shown to decrease DMPO-O2.- adduct yields by more than 50% at 0.25 mg/mL as measured by an ESR spin trapping technique based on the HPX-XOD reaction. To study the mechanism of the O2.- scavenging activity, Km values were obtained from a Lineweaver-Burk plot for XOD in the presence of different concentrations of HPX, and the IC50 values at different DMPO concentrations were compared. Clove and basil directly eliminated O2.- like superoxide dismutase (SOD), whereas allspice reduced the amount of O2.- by inhibition of formation of O2.-. (+info)
Polyphenols from some foodstuffs as inhibitors of ovalbumin permeation through caco-2 cell monolayers.
Some spices showed high inhibitory activity against ovalbumin permeation through Caco-2 cell monolayers. Pimentol from allspice, rosmarinic acid and luteolin-7-O-beta-glucuronide from thyme, quercetin-3-O-beta-glucuronide from coriander and rutin from tarragon were identified as the active principles. A structure-activity relationship study among the active isolates and their related compounds indicated that the presence of a catechol structure played an important role in the inhibitory activity of each compound. (+info)