• Acrylamide formation in potato products

      Brunton, Nigel; Gormley, Ronan T.; Butler, Francis; Cummins, Enda; Danaher, Martin; O'Keeffe, Michael (Teagasc, 2006-08)
      Acrylamide, a substance classified as a potential carcinogen, occurs in heated starchy foods at concentrations many times in excess of levels permitted in drinking water. Early surveys indicated that levels of acrylamide in potato products such as French fries and potato crisps were the highest of the foodstuffs investigated. The present project addressed this issue by determining levels of acrylamide precursors (asparagine and reducing sugars) in raw potatoes and levels of acrylamide in (i) potato products from different storage regimes, (ii) spot-sampled potatoes purchased from a local supermarket, (iii) samples that received pre-treatments and were fried at different temperatures and (iv) French fries reheated in different ovens.A risk assessment of the estimated acrylamide intake from potato products for various cohorts of the Irish population was also conducted.
    • Antibiotic resistance in foodborne pathogens

      Duffy, Geraldine; Walsh, Ciara (Teagasc, 2005-02)
      Wide-spread antibiotic resistance among bacterial pathogens is now a serious public health issue and multi-antibiotic resistance has been reported in many foodborne pathogens including Salmonella and E. coli.
    • Antimicrobial antagonists against food pathogens; a bacteriocin perspective

      O'Connor, Paula M.; Ross, R Paul; Hill, Colin; Cotter, Paul D. (Elsevier, 2015-02-03)
      Efforts are continuing to find novel bacteriocins with enhanced specificity and potency. Traditional plating techniques are still being used for bacteriocin screening studies, however, the availability of ever more bacterial genome sequences and the use of in silico gene mining tools have revealed novel bacteriocin gene clusters that would otherwise have been overlooked. Furthermore, synthetic biology and bioengineering-based approaches are allowing scientists to harness existing and novel bacteriocin gene clusters through expression in different hosts and by enhancing functionalities. The same principles apply to bacteriocin producing probiotic cultures and their application to control pathogens in the gut. We can expect that the recent developments on bacteriocins from Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) described here will contribute greatly to increased commercialisation of bacteriocins in food systems.
    • Automated detection and characterisation of foodborne pathogens

      Duffy, Geraldine; O'Hanlon, Karen; Catarame, Terese; Smyth, Davida; McCann, Máiréad (Teagasc, 2007-06)
      This study focused on the development of molecular tools for the rapid detection and characterisation of food-borne pathogens including Verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli (VTEC) (serotypes O157, O26 and O111) and Salmonella spp. The study involved the development of enrichment systems and the identification of unique genetic targets in these pathogens which could be amplified and detected by Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).
    • Bactofencin A, a New Type of Cationic Bacteriocin with Unusual Immunity

      O'Shea, Eileen F.; O'Connor, Paula M.; O'Sullivan, Orla; Cotter, Paul D.; Ross, R Paul; Hill, Colin (American Society for Microbiology, 2013-10-29)
      Bacteriocin production is an important probiotic trait of intestinal bacteria. In this study, we identify a new type of bacteriocin, bactofencin A, produced by a porcine intestinal isolate Lactobacillus salivarius DPC6502, and assess its potency against pathogenic species including Staphylococcus aureus and Listeria monocytogenes. Genome sequencing of the bacteriocin producer revealed bfnA, which encodes the mature and highly basic (pI 10.59), 22-amino-acid defensin-like peptide. Matrixassisted laser desorption ionization–time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectral analysis determined that bactofencin A has a molecular mass of 2,782 Da and contains two cysteine residues that form an intramolecular disulfide bond. Although an ABC transporter and transport accessory protein were also present within the bacteriocin gene cluster, a classical bacteriocin immunity gene was not detected. Interestingly, a dltB homologue was identified downstream of bfnA. DltB is usually encoded within the dlt operon of many Gram-positive bacteria. It is responsible for D-alanylation of teichoic acids in the cell wall and has previously been associated with bacterial resistance to cationic antimicrobial peptides. Heterologous expression of this gene conferred bactofencin A-specific immunity on sensitive strains of L. salivarius and S. aureus (although not L. monocytogenes), establishing its role in bacteriocin immunity. An analysis of the distribution of bfnA revealed that it was present in four additional isolates derived from porcine origin and absent from five human isolates, suggesting that its distribution is host specific. Given its novelty, we anticipate that bactofencin A represents the prototype of a new class of bacteriocins characterized as being cationic, with a DltB homologue providing a cognate immunity function.
    • Benzimidazole carbamate residues in milk: Detection by Surface Plasmon Resonance-biosensor, using a modified QuEChERS (Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged and Safe) method for extraction

      Keegan, Jemma; Whelan, Michelle; Danaher, Martin; Crooks, Steven; Sayers, Riona; Anastasio, Aniello; Elliott, Chrtistopher; Brandon, David; Furey, Ambrose; O'Kennedy, Richard (Elsevier, 2009-09-26)
      A surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensor screening assay was developed and validated to detect 11 benzimidazole carbamate (BZT) veterinary drug residues in milk. The polyclonal antibody used was raised in sheep against a methyl 5(6)-[(carboxypentyl)-thio]-2-benzimidazole carbamate protein conjugate. A sample preparation procedure was developed using a modified QuEChERS method. BZT residues were extracted from milk using liquid extraction/partition with a dispersive solid phase extraction clean-up step. The assay was validated in accordance with the performance criteria described in 2002/657/EC. The limit of detection of the assay was calculated from the analysis of 20 known negative milk samples to be 2.7 μg kg−1. The detection capability (CCβ) of the assay was determined to be 5 μg kg−1 for 11 benzimidazole residues and the mean recovery of analytes was in the range 81–116%. A comparison was made between the SPR-biosensor and UPLC–MS/MS analyses of milk samples (n = 26) taken from cows treated different benzimidazole products, demonstrating the SPR-biosensor assay to be fit for purpose.
    • Bioactivity in Whey Proteins Influencing Energy Balance

      McAllan, Liam; Cotter, Paul D.; Roche, Helen M.; Korpela, Riitta; Nilaweera, Kanishka N. (OMICS Publishing Group, 2012-03-30)
      Obesity develops due to energy (food) intake exceeding energy expenditure. Nutrients that reduce the positive energy balance are thus being considered as therapies to combat obesity. Here, we review the literature related to the physiological, cellular and endocrine effects of intake of whey proteins, namely α-lactalbumin, β-lactoglobulin, glycomacropeptide and lactoferrin. Moreover, we discuss how dietary composition and obesity may influence whey protein effects on the above parameters. Evidence suggests that intake of whey proteins causes a decrease in energy intake, increase in energy expenditure, influence insulin sensitivity and glucose homeostasis and alter lipid metabolism in the adipose, liver and muscle. These physiological changes are accompanied by alterations in the plasma levels of energy balance related hormones (cholecystokinin, ghrelin, insulin and glucagon-like peptide-1) and the expression of catabolic and anabolic genes in the above tissue in the direction to cause a negative energy balance.
    • A case of bovine raw milk contamination with Listeria monocytogenes

      Hunt, Karen; Drummond, Niall; Murphy, Mary; Butler, Francis; Buckley, Jim; Jordan, Kieran (Biomed Central, 2012-07-06)
      During routine sampling of bulk raw milk on a dairy farm, the pathogenic bacteria Listeria monocytogenes was found to be a contaminant, at numbers < 100 cfu/ml. A strain with an indistinguishable pulsed-field gel electrophoresis pattern was isolated from the bulk milk two months later. Environmental swabs taken at the dairy environment were negative for the presence of L. monocytogenes, indicating a possible case of excretion of the L. monocytogenes directly into the milk. Milk samples were collected from the individual cows and analysed, resulting in the identification of L. monocytogenes excretion (at 280 cfu/ml) from one of the 4 mammary quarters of one dairy cow out of 180. When the infected cow was isolated from the herd, no L. monocytogenes was detected from the remaining herd. The pulsed-field gel electrophoresis pattern of the strain from the individual cow was indistinguishable from that originally isolated from the bulk milk. The infected cow did not show any clinical signs of disease, nor did the appearance of the milk have any physical abnormalities. Antibiotic treatment of the infected mammary quarter was found to be ineffective. This study shows that there can be risks associated with direct contamination of raw milk with L. monocytogenes.
    • Comparative analysis of Salmonella susceptibility and tolerance to the biocide chlorhexidine identifies a complex cellular defense network

      Condell, Orla; Power, Karen A.; Handler, Kristian; Finn, Sarah; Sheridan, Aine; Sergeant, Kjell; Renaut, Jenny; Burgess, Catherine M.; Hinton, Jay C.D.; Nally, Jarlath E.; Fanning, Seamus (Frontiers Media SA, 2014-08-01)
      Chlorhexidine is one of the most widely used biocides in health and agricultural settings as well as in the modern food industry. It is a cationic biocide of the biguanide class. Details of its mechanism of action are largely unknown. The frequent use of chlorhexidine has been questioned recently, amidst concerns that an overuse of this compound may select for bacteria displaying an altered susceptibility to antimicrobials, including clinically important anti-bacterial agents. We generated a Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium isolate (ST24CHX) that exhibited a high-level tolerant phenotype to chlorhexidine, following several rounds of in vitro selection, using sub-lethal concentrations of the biocide. This mutant showed altered suceptibility to a panel of clinically important antimicrobial compounds. Here we describe a genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, and phenotypic analysis of the chlorhexidine tolerant S. Typhimurium compared with its isogenic sensitive progenitor. Results from this study describe a chlorhexidine defense network that functions in both the reference chlorhexidine sensitive isolate and the tolerant mutant. The defense network involved multiple cell targets including those associated with the synthesis and modification of the cell wall, the SOS response, virulence, and a shift in cellular metabolism toward anoxic pathways, some of which were regulated by CreB and Fur. In addition, results indicated that chlorhexidine tolerance was associated with more extensive modifications of the same cellular processes involved in this proposed network, as well as a divergent defense response involving the up-regulation of additional targets such as the flagellar apparatus and an altered cellular phosphate metabolism. These data show that sub-lethal concentrations of chlorhexidine induce distinct changes in exposed Salmonella, and our findings provide insights into the mechanisms of action and tolerance to this biocidal agent.
    • Complete Genome Sequence of Clostridium estertheticum DSM 8809, a Microbe Identified in Spoiled Vacuum Packed Beef

      Zhongyi, Yu; Gunn, Lynda; Brennan, Evan; Reid, Rachel; Wall, Patrick G.; O'Gaora, Peadar; Hurley, Daniel; Bolton, Declan; Fanning, Seamus (Frontiers, 2016-11-10)
      Blown pack spoilage (BPS) is a major issue for the beef industry. Etiological agents of BPS involve members of a group of Clostridium species, including Clostridium estertheticum which has the ability to produce gas, mostly carbon dioxide, under anaerobic psychotrophic growth conditions. This spore-forming bacterium grows slowly under laboratory conditions, and it can take up to 3 months to produce a workable culture. These characteristics have limited the study of this commercially challenging bacterium. Consequently information on this bacterium is limited and no effective controls are currently available to confidently detect and manage this production risk. In this study the complete genome of C. estertheticum DSM 8809 was determined by SMRT R sequencing. The genome consists of a circular chromosome of 4.7 Mbp along with a single plasmid carrying a potential tellurite resistance gene tehB and a Tn3- like resolvase-encoding gene tnpR. The genome sequence was searched for central metabolic pathways that would support its biochemical profile and several enzymes contributing to this phenotype were identified. Several putative antibiotic/biocide/metal resistance-encoding genes and virulence factors were also identified in the genome, a feature that requires further research. The availability of the genome sequence will provide a basic blueprint from which to develop valuable biomarkers that could support and improve the detection and control of this bacterium along the beef production chain.
    • Control and detection of food-borne pathogens

      Duffy, Geraldine; Cloak, Orla; Sheridan, James J. (Teagasc, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, 1998-08)
      The objective of this study was to develop rapid methods for the detection of bacteria from food.
    • Control of Blown Pack Spoilage in Vacuum Packaged Meat

      Bolton, Declan J.; Moschonas, Galatios; Sheridan, James J.; Downey, Gerard (Teagasc, 2009-10-01)
      Blown pack spoilage (BPS) represents a significant commercial loss to Irish meat processors. This research discovered that the organisms causing BPS are ubiquitous in the abattoir environment, making eradication very difficult. The risk of BPS is best managed through a process of regular treatment of plant and equipment with a sporicidal agent such as peroxyacetic acid, good hygiene to minimise carcass contamination and removal of the heat shrinkage stage during vacuum packaging as this activates the spores and reduces the time to spoilage.
    • Control of escherichia coli 0157:H7 in beefburgers

      Bolton, Declan J.; Byrne, Catriona; Catarame, Terese; Sheridan, James J. (Teagasc, 2001-04)
      The inactivation of E. coli O157:H7 by heating, freezing, pulsed electric field, sodium lactate, lactic acid and citric acid, alone or in combination was investigated. The industrial process for beefburger manufacture did not significantly reduce E.coli O157:H7 numbers regardless of the burger recipe and method of tempering used. Fast freezing of the burgers (to -18°C in 30 minutes as opposed to 36 hours), pulsed electric field, sodium lactate, lactic acid and citric acid, individually and in combination, did not significantly reduce E. coli O157:H7 numbers when applied at different stages throughout the beef burger manufacturing process. Beefburger safety is therefore reliant on proper storage, handling and thermal processing in the domestic or catering kitchen. The lethal effect of thermal processing may be enhanced by the addition of sodium lactate to the burger during mixing. These results are presented and discussed.
    • Controlling Blown Pack Spoilage Using Anti-Microbial Packaging

      Reid, Rachael; Bolton, Declan; Tiuftin, Andrey; Kerry, Joe P.; Fanning, Seamus; Whyte, Paul (MDPI, 2017-08-12)
      Active (anti-microbial) packaging was prepared using three different formulations; Auranta FV; Inbac-MDA and sodium octanoate at two concentrations (2.5 and 3.5 times their minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC, the lowest concentration that will inhibit the visible growth of the organisms) against Clostridium estertheticum, DSMZ 8809). Inoculated beef samples were packaged using the active packaging and monitored for 100 days storage at 2 °C for blown pack spoilage. The time to the onset of blown pack spoilage was significantly (p < 0.01) increased using Auranta FV and sodium octanoate (caprylic acid sodium salt) at both concentrations. Moreover, sodium octanoate packs had significantly (p < 0.01) delayed blown pack spoilage as compared to Auranta FV. It was therefore concluded that Auranta FV or sodium octanoate, incorporated into the packaging materials used for vacuum packaged beef, would inhibit blown pack spoilage and in the case of the latter, well beyond the 42 days storage period currently required for beef primals
    • Current food safety priorities : report on the European Union risk analysis information network (EU - RAIN)

      Maunsell, Bláithín; Bolton, Declan J.; Downey, Gerard (Teagasc, 2006-04)
      An estimated 10 to 30% of the population in industrialised countries suffers food-borne illness annually, resulting in an unacceptable social (human suffering) and economic (health care and lost working days) cost. Risk analysis, a proactive preventative approach to food safety, was the focus of the European Union Risk Analysis Information Network (EU-RAIN) concerted action project. Funded by the European Commission, this project commenced in March 2003 and concluded in February 2006.
    • Current trends in sample preparation for growth promoter and veterinary drug residue analysis

      Kinsella, Brian; O'Mahony, John; Malone, Edward; Moloney, Mary; Cantwell, Helen; Furey, Ambrose; Danaher, Martin (Elsevier, 2009-09-09)
      A comprehensive review is presented on the current trends in sample preparation for isolation of veterinary drugs and growth promotors from foods. The objective of the review is to firstly give an overview of the sample preparation techniques that are applied in field. The review will focus on new techniques and technologies, which improve efficiency and coverage of residues. The underlying theme to the paper is the developments that have been made in multi-residue methods and particularly multi-class methods for residues of licensed animal health products, which have been developed in the last couple of years. The role of multi-class methods is discussed and how they can be accommodated in future residue surveillance.
    • Detection of banned nitrofuran metabolites in animal plasma samples using UHPLC–MS/MS

      Radovnikovic, Anita; Moloney, Mary; Byrne, Patrick; Danaher, Martin (Elsevier, 2010-12-07)
      The use of nitrofurans as veterinary drugs in food-producing animals has been banned in the EU since the 1990s. Monitoring programs in the EU are based on the detection of protein-bound metabolites after slaughter. An UHPLC–MS/MS method was developed and validated for pre slaughter determination of four nitrofuran metabolites (AHD, AOZ, SEM, AMOZ) in animal plasma (bovine, ovine, equine and porcine). This method is proposed as an alternative method for on-farm surveillance. Plasma samples were derivatised with 2-nitrobenzaldehyde and subsequently extracted with organic solvent. Extracts were concentrated and then analysed by UHPLC–MS/MS. The method was validated according to Commission Decision 2002/657/EC. Inter-species recovery for AHD, AOZ, SEM and AMOZ was 72, 74, 57 and 71%, respectively. Decision limits (CC ) were calculated from within laboratory reproducibility experiments to be 0.070, 0.059, 0.071 and 0.054 gkg−1, respectively. In addition, the assay was applied to incurred plasma samples taken from pigs treated with furazolidone.
    • Detection of benzimidazole carbamates and amino metabolites in liver by surface plasmon resonance-biosensor

      Keegan, Jemma; O'Kennedy, Richard; Crooks, Steven; Elliot, Christopher; Brandon, David; Danaher, Martin (Elsevier, 2011-01-14)
      Two surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensor screening assays were developed and validated to detect 11 benzimidazole carbamate (BZT) and four amino-benzimidazole veterinary drug residues in liver tissue. The assays used polyclonal antibodies, raised in sheep, to detect BZTs and amino-benzimidazoles. A modified Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged and Safe (QuEChERS) extraction method was developed to isolate benzimidazole carbamate residues. Liver samples were extracted using an acetonitrile extraction method. BZTs were purified by dispersive solid phase extraction (d-SPE) using C18 sorbent. Residues of amino-benzimidazoles were effectively cleaned-up using a simple cyclohexane defatting step. The assays were validated in accordance with the performance criteria described in 2002/657/EC. The BZT assay limit of detection was calculated to be 32 μg kg−1, the detection capability (CCβ) was determined to be 50 μg kg−1 and the mean recovery of analytes was in the range 77–132%. The amino-benzimidazole assay limit of detection was determined to be 41 μg kg−1, the CCβ was determined to be 75 μg kg−1 and analyte recovery was in the range 103–116%. Biosensor assay performance was tested by analysing liver tissue from animals treated with benzimidazole drugs and comparing the results with an ultra high performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC–MS/MS) confirmatory method. All non-compliant samples were identified using the biosensor assays.
    • Determination and Occurrence of Phenoxyacetic Acid Herbicides and Their Transformation Products in Groundwater Using Ultra High Performance Liquid Chromatography Coupled to Tandem Mass Spectrometry

      McManus, Sarah-Louise; Moloney, Mary; Richards, Karl G.; Coxon, Catherine E.; Danaher, Martin (MDPI AG., Basel, Switzerland, 2014-12-10)
      A sensitive method was developed and validated for ten phenoxyacetic acid herbicides, six of their main transformation products (TPs) and two benzonitrile TPs in groundwater. The parent compounds mecoprop, mecoprop-p, 2,4-D, dicamba, MCPA, triclopyr, fluroxypr, bromoxynil, bentazone, and 2,3,6-trichlorobenzoic acid (TBA) are included and a selection of their main TPs: phenoxyacetic acid (PAC), 2,4,5-trichloro-phenol (TCP), 4-chloro-2-methylphenol (4C2MP), 2,4-dichlorophenol (DCP), 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol (T2P), and 3,5-dibromo-4-hydroxybenzoic acid (BrAC), as well as the dichlobenil TPs 2,6-dichlorobenzamide (BAM) and 3,5-dichlorobenzoic acid (DBA) which have never before been determined in Irish groundwater. Water samples were analysed using an efficient ultra-high performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) method in an 11.9 min separation time prior to detection by tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). The limit of detection (LOD) of the method ranged between 0.00008 and 0.0047 µg·L−1 for the 18 analytes. All compounds could be detected below the permitted limits of 0.1 µg·L−1 allowed in the European Union (EU) drinking water legislation [1]. The method was validated according to EU protocols laid out in SANCO/10232/2006 with recoveries ranging between 71% and 118% at the spiked concentration level of 0.06 µg·L−1. The method was successfully applied to 42 groundwater samples collected across several locations in Ireland in March 2012 to reveal that the TPs PAC and 4C2MP were detected just as often as their parent active ingredients (a.i.) in groundwater.
    • Determining the Prevalence and Seasonality of Fasciola hepatica in Pasture-based Dairy herds in Ireland using a Bulk Tank Milk ELISA

      Bloemhoff, Yris; Forbes, Andrew; Danaher, Martin; Good, Barbara; Morgan, Eric; Mulcahy, Grace; Sekiya, Mary; Sayers, Riona (Biomed Central, 2015-07-09)
      Background Fasciola hepatica is a helminth parasite of global importance in livestock, with major economic impact. However information on F. hepatica infections in Irish pasture-based dairy herds is limited. Therefore this study was conducted in order to determine the prevalence, seasonality and management factors associated with F. hepatica. A total of 319 Irish dairy herds were selected for this study. Bulk tank milk (BTM) samples were collected from 290 dairy farms on a quarter year basis, while from a further 29 dairy farms BTM samples were collected on a monthly basis to provide a more detailed pattern of F. hepatica exposure in Irish herds. BTM samples were analysed using a commercially available F. hepatica antibody detection ELISA. Furthermore, within-herd prevalence of F. hepatica was assessed in a subset of these 29 herds (n = 17); both individual serum samples and bulk tank milk samples were collected. Results A within-herd prevalence of ≤ 50 % was found for herds with negative bulk tank milk samples. The mean prevalence of the 290 study herds was 75.4 % (Range 52 %–75.1 %), with the highest prevalence being observed in November (75.1 %). The seasonal pattern of F. hepatica shows elevated antibodies as the grazing season progressed, reaching a peak in January. A significant association was found between F. hepatica and age at first calving. Conclusion This study demonstrates that F. hepatica is present in a large proportion of Irish dairy herds and provides a basis on which control practices, particularly in adult dairy cows, can be reviewed.