Casalecchio di Reno, Italy
Casalecchio di Reno, Italy

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De Medici D.,Instituto Superiore Of Sanita | Kuchta T.,Food Research Institute | Knutsson R.,SVA National Veterinary Institute | Angelov A.,University of Food Technologies | And 14 more authors.
Food Analytical Methods | Year: 2014

Microbiological analysis is an integral part of food quality control, as well as of the management of food chain safety. Microbiological testing of foodstuffs complements the preventive approach to food safety activities based mainly on implementation and application of the concept of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). Traditional microbiological methods are powerful but lengthy and cumbersome and therefore not fully compatible with current requirements. Even more, pathogens exist that are fastidious to cultivate or uncultivable at all. Besides immunological tests, molecular methods, specifically those based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR), are available options to meet industry and enforcement needs. The clear advantage of PCR over all other rapid methods is the striking analytical principle that is based on amplification of DNA, a molecule being present in every cell prone to multiply. Just by changing primers and probes, different genomes such as bacteria, viruses or parasites can be detected. A second advantage is the ability to both detect and quantify a biotic contaminant. Some previously identified obstacles of implementation of molecular methods have already been overcome. Technical measures became available that improved robustness of molecular methods, and equipment and biochemicals became much more affordable. Unfortunately, molecular methods suffer from certain drawbacks that hamper their full integration to food safety control. Those encompass a suitable sample pre-treatment especially for a quantitative extraction of bacteria and viruses from solid foods, limited availability of appropriate controls to evaluate the effectiveness of the analytical procedure, the current inability of molecular methods to distinguish DNA from viable cells and DNA from dead or non-cultivable cells, and the slow progress of international harmonisation and standardisation, which limit full acceptance of PCR-based methods in food control. The aim of this review is to describe the context and the prospects of PCR-based methods, as well as trends in research and development aimed at solving the next decade challenges in order to achieve full integration of molecular methods in food safety control. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Kuchta T.,Food Research Institute | Knutsson R.,SVA National Veterinary Institute | Fiore A.,Instituto Superiore Of Sanita | Kudirkiene E.,Lithuanian University of Health Sciences | And 8 more authors.
Letters in Applied Microbiology | Year: 2014

In the last decade, nucleic acid-based methods gradually started to replace or complement the culture-based methods and immunochemical assays in routine laboratories involved in food control. In particular, real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was technically developed to the stage of good speed, sensitivity and reproducibility, at minimized risk of carry-over contamination. Basic advantages provided by nucleic acid-based methods are higher speed and added information, such as subspecies identification, information on the presence of genes important for virulence or antibiotic resistance. Nucleic acid-based methods are attractive also to detect important foodborne pathogens for which no classical counterparts are available, namely foodborne pathogenic viruses. This review briefly summarizes currently available or developing molecular technologies that may be candidates for involvement in microbiological molecular methods in the next decade. Potential of nonamplification as well as amplification methods is discussed, including fluorescent in situ hybridization, alternative PCR chemistries, alternative amplification technologies, digital PCR and nanotechnologies. © 2014 The Society for Applied Microbiology.


Giordano C.,National Research Council Italy | Bardi U.,University of Florence | Garbini D.,Laboratorio Coop Italia | Suman M.,Barilla G.R. Flli SpA
Microscopy Research and Technique | Year: 2011

Combustion processes commonly create fine and ultrafine particles whose effects are often harmful to human health. The present study is aimed at providing more data in this field by testing the capability of environmental electron scanning microscopy of detecting and analyzing such particles. For this purpose, we examined a range of samples taken from everyday food items collected in Tuscany. The results showed that, within the examined samples, inorganic particles can be observed in the nano- and micrometer range. These particles are attributable mostly to natural processes and, in part, to food processing. Little evidence is found for particles whose origin could be attributed to industrial combustion processes, such as waste incineration. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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