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Muri, Switzerland

Hoppler M.,ETH Zurich | Egli I.,ETH Zurich | Petry N.,GroundWork | Gille D.,Institute for Food science IFS | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Food Science | Year: 2014

The iron storage protein ferritin is a potential vehicle to enhance the iron content of biofortified crops. With the aim of evaluating the potential of ferritin iron in plant breeding, we used species-specific isotope dilution mass spectrometry to quantify ferritin iron in bean varieties with a wide range of total iron content. Zinc, phytic acid, and polyphenols were also measured. Total iron concentration in 21 bean varieties ranged from 32 to 115 ppm and was positively correlated with concentrations of zinc (P = 0.001) and nonferritin bound iron (P < 0.001). Ferritin iron ranged from 13% to 35% of total iron and increased only slightly in high iron beans (P = 0.007). Concentrations of nonferritin bound iron and phytic acid were correlated (P = 0.001), although phytic acid:iron molar ratio decreased with increasing iron concentration (P = 0.003). Most iron in high iron beans was present as nonferritin bound iron, which confirms our earlier finding showing that ferritin iron in beans was lower than previously published. As the range of ferritin iron content in beans is relatively narrow, there is less opportunity for breeders to breed for high ferritin. The relevance of these findings to the extent of iron absorption depends on resolving the question of whether ferritin iron is absorbed or not to a greater extent than nonferritin bound iron. Practical Application: It was suggested that plant breeders should breed beans for high ferritin iron however, as the range of ferritin iron content in beans was relatively narrow, this could be difficult. Until the relative bioavailability of ferritin and nonferritin iron is resolved, we recommend that breeders should continue to focus on increasing the total iron of beans irrespective of the iron species, and attempt to lower phytic acid. © 2014 Institute of Food Technologists®. Source

Berger T.F.H.,Institute for Food science IFS | Luginbuhl W.,ChemStat
Accreditation and Quality Assurance | Year: 2016

The somatic cell count (SCC) of milk is one of the main indicators of the udder health status of lactating mammals and is a hygiene criterion of raw milk used to manufacture dairy products. An increase in SCC is regarded as one of the primary indicators of inflammation of the mammary gland. Therefore, SCC is relevant in food legislation as well as in the payment of ex-farm raw milk and it has a major impact on farm management and breeding programs. Its determination is one of the most frequently performed analytical tests worldwide. Routine measurements of SCC are almost exclusively done using automated fluoro-opto-electronic counting. However, certified reference materials for SCC are lacking, and the microscopic reference method is not reliable because of serious inherent weaknesses. A reference system approach may help to largely overcome these deficiencies and help to assure equivalence in SCC worldwide. The approach is characterised as a positioning system fed by different types of information from various sources. A statistical approach for comparing proficiency tests (PTs) by assessing them using a quality index PQ and assessing participating laboratories using a quality index PL, both deriving from probabilities, is proposed. The basic assumption is that PT schemes are conducted according to recognised guidelines in order to compute performance characteristics, such as z-scores, repeatability and reproducibility standard deviations. Standard deviations are compared with the method validation data from the ISO method. Input quantities close to or smaller than the reference data of the method validation or the assigned value of the PT result in values for PQ and PL close to the maximum value. Evaluation examples of well-known PTs show the practicability of the proposed approach. © 2016 The Author(s) Source

Crotta M.,University of Milan | Rizzi R.,University of Milan | Varisco G.,Lombardy and Emilia Romagna Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute | Daminelli P.,Lombardy and Emilia Romagna Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Food Protection | Year: 2016

Quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) models are extensively applied to inform management of a broad range of food safety risks. Inevitably, QMRA modeling involves an element of simplification of the biological process of interest. Two features that are frequently simplified or disregarded are the pathogenicity of multiple strains of a single pathogen and consumer behavior at the household level. In this study, we developed a QMRA model with a multiple-strain approach and a consumer phase module (CPM) based on uncertainty distributions fitted from field data. We modeled exposure to staphylococcal enterotoxin A in raw milk in Lombardy; a specific enterotoxin production module was thus included. The model is adaptable and could be used to assess the risk related to other pathogens in raw milk as well as other staphylococcal enterotoxins. The multiplestrain approach, implemented as a multinomial process, allowed the inclusion of variability and uncertainty with regard to pathogenicity at the bacterial level. Data from 301 questionnaires submitted to raw milk consumers were used to obtain uncertainty distributions for the CPM. The distributions were modeled to be easily updatable with further data or evidence. The sources of uncertainty due to the multiple-strain approach and the CPM were identified, and their impact on the output was assessed by comparing specific scenarios to the baseline. When the distributions reflecting the uncertainty in consumer behavior were fixed to the 95th percentile, the risk of exposure increased up to 160 times. This reflects the importance of taking into consideration the diversity of consumers' habits at the household level and the impact that the lack of knowledge about variables in the CPM can have on the final QMRA estimates. The multiple-strain approach lends itself to use in other food matrices besides raw milk and allows the model to better capture the complexity of the real world and to be capable of geographical specificity. © Copyright International Association for Food Protection. Source

Bogicevic B.,Institute for Food science IFS | Berthoud H.,Institute for Food science IFS | Portmann R.,Institute for Food science IFS | Bavan T.,Institute for Food science IFS | And 2 more authors.
FEMS Microbiology Letters | Year: 2016

In bacteria, cysteine can be synthesized from serine by two steps involving an L-serine O-acetyltransferase (SAT) and a cysteine synthase (CysK). While CysK is found in the publicly available annotated genome from Lactobacillus casei ATCC 334, a gene encoding SAT (cysE) is missing. In this study, we found that various strains of L. casei grew in a chemically defined medium containing sulfide as the sole sulfur source, indicating the presence of a serine O-acetyltransferase. The gene lying upstream of cysK is predicted to encode a homoserine trans-succinylase (metA). To study the function of this gene, it was cloned from L. casei FAM18110. The purified, recombinant protein did not acylate L-homoserine in vitro. Instead, it catalyzed the formation of O-acetyl serine from L-serine and acetyl-CoA. Furthermore, the plasmid expressing the L. casei gene complemented an Escherichia coli cysE mutant strain but not an E. coli metA mutant. This clearly demonstrated that the gene annotated as metA in fact encodes the SAT function and should be annotated as cysE. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. Source

Ledermann R.,ETH Zurich | Bartsch I.,ETH Zurich | Remus-Emsermann M.N.,ETH Zurich | Remus-Emsermann M.N.,Institute for Food science IFS | And 2 more authors.
Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions | Year: 2015

Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens USDA 110 (formerly named Bradyrhizobium japonicum) can fix dinitrogen when living as an endosymbiont in root nodules of soybean and some other legumes. Formation of a functional symbiosis relies on a defined developmental program mediated by controlled gene expression in both symbiotic partners. In contrast to other well-studied Rhizobium-legume model systems that have been thoroughly examined by means of genetically tagged strains, analysis of B. diazoefficiens host infection has been impaired due to the lack of suitable tagging systems. Here, we describe the construction of B. diazoefficiens strains constitutively expressing single-copy genes for fluorescent proteins (eBFP2, mTurquoise2, GFP+, sYFP2, mCherry, HcRed) and enzymes (GusA, LacZ). For stable inheritance, the constructs were recombined into the chromosome. Effectiveness and versatility of the tagged strains was demonstrated in plant infection assays. (i) The infection process was followed from root-hair attachment to colonization of nodule cells with epifluorescent microscopy. (ii) Monitoring mixed infections with two strains producing different fluorescent proteins allowed rapid analysis of nodule occupancy and revealed that the majority of nodules contained clonal populations. (iii) Microscopic analysis of nodules induced by fluorescent strains provided evidence for host-dependent control of B. diazoefficiens bacteroid morphology in nodules of Aeschynomene afraspera and Arachis hypogaea (peanut), as deduced from their altered morphology compared with bacteroids in soybean nodules. © 2015 The American Phytopathological Society. Source

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