Bacteria in a petri dish.

2018 Research Highlights: Food Safety

     MAES supported researchers are dedicated to ensuring a safer food system by providing tools and information to protect consumers and developing easier, faster and cheaper methods for the food industry to catch contamination and avoid recalls.

2018 highlights include: 

  • Researchers found that processed almond hull powders exhibited significantly higher emulsifying capacity, oil holding capacity, and antioxidant content than some commercial fiber products. With these levels, these almond hull powders can be made into functional beverages and cosmetic products. Several conceptual products have been created. 
  • A study looking at two processes for flavor encapsulation used orange oil emulsion as an evaluation test material. Results showed that fluidized bed granulation produced orange oil encapsulates with more resistance to oxidation and of higher density than spray-dried orange oil but with poorer retention of flavor. 
  • Six studies exploring the efficacy of Bacitracin methylene disalicylate (BMD) against multidrug-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg (MDR SH) all showed BMD supplementation significantly reduced MDR SH in the cecum compared to the Salmonella controls. An average SH reduction of 4.5- and 3.0- log10 CFU/g of cecal contents (P<0.05) was observed in the 3- and 5-week-old broiler chickens. However, no significant reduction was observed in 7-week-old birds. These results show BMD was highly effective on the MDR SH in the cecum of young chickens, indicating its potential to contribute to the preharvest safety of broilers. 
  • Findings from a study on the role of eosinophils in allergen-induced inflammation of the GI tract suggest the sHE induced by soy proteins promotes allergic responses including eosinophilia and GI inflammation and that blockage of sHE can attenuate these responses and thus serve as a strategy in the management of food allergen-driven forms of eosinophilic GI disease. 
  • Researchers focused on the controlling the spread of PRRS are exploring the use of cold plasma for decontaminating food and food-processing surfaces. This new technology could not only reduce the spread of PRRS but also help control foodborne illness outbreaks.

In fiscal year 2018, MAES supported research related to food safety was connected to:

17 Projects
14 Principal Investigators
6 Peer-Reviewed Journals
1 Patent Issued