• 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.
    • Adding value to beef forequarter muscles

      Kenny, Tony; Lennon, Ann; Ward, Patrick; Sullivan, Paul; McDonald, Karl; Downey, Gerard; O'Neill, Eileen (Teagasc, 2008-11)
      The forequarter constitutes 50% of the weight of a beef carcase but only about 25% of its value. To fulfill the objectives of this project, the work was organised into 4 parts as follows: 1.Characterisation of the available raw material, in terms of properties of individual muscles seamed out from carcasses of representative types of animals produced in Ireland. 2.Comparison of yields and operator time for seaming and conventional boning. 3.Utilisation of separated muscles in added-value products using appropriate tenderising, bonding and forming technology. 4.Transfer of the knowledge and technology to the industry.
    • Adding value to Beef Forequarter Muscles

      Kenny, Tony; Lennon, Ann; Ward, Patrick; Sullivan, Paul; McDonald, Karl; O'Neill, Eileen; Downey, Gerard (Teagasc, 01/11/2008)
      The forequarter constitutes 50% of the weight of a beef carcase but only about 25% of its value.To fulfill the objectives of this project, the work was organised into 4 parts as follows: 1.Characterisation of the available raw material, in terms of properties of individual muscles seamed out from carcasses of representative types of animals produced in Ireland. 2.Comparison of yields and operator time for seaming and conventional boning. 3.Utilisation of separated muscles in added-value products using appropriate tenderising, bonding and forming technology. 4.Transfer of the knowledge and technology to the industry.
    • Adding value to cull cow beef

      O'Donovan, Michael; Minchin, William; Buckley, Frank; Kenny, David; Shalloo, Laurence (Teagasc, 01/08/2009)
      This project addressed the prospects of increasing the value of cull cow beef and examined the potential of a number of different management and dietary strategies. In Ireland, the national cow herd contributes 350,000 animals to total beef production annually, which represents 22% of all cattle slaughtered (DAF, 2007). A dominant feature of beef production in Ireland is the disposal of cows from the dairy and beef industries, the time of year at which culling occurs influences the number of cows available for slaughter. Suitability of a cow for slaughter is generally not a consideration for dairy or beef farmers.
    • Adding value to milk by increasing its protein and CLA contents.

      Murphy, J.J.; Stanton, Catherine; O'Donovan, Michael; Kavanagh, S.; Maher, J.; Patton, Joe; Mohammed, Riaz (Teagasc, 2008-08-01)
      Five experiments were undertaken in this project; one on mid-summer milk protein and four on milk CLA content. Thus the two main objectives of this project were to determine the factors associated with milk protein concentration in mid-summer and to investigate potential further strategies to increase the CLA content of pasture produced milk.
    • Adding Value To Under utilised Fish Species

      Fagan, John; Gormley, Ronan T.; Mitchell, Michelle; Downey, Gerard; National Development Plan (NDP) (Teagasc, 01/02/2006)
      Tightening fish quotas and supply shortages for conventional species are causing major difficulties for both fishermen and seafood processors. There is a need, therefore, to explore the potential of underutilised fish species both as fillets or portions and as added-value products. The current project at Ashtown Food Research Centre (AFRC) addressed this issue for a number of underutilised species via (a) sous vide processing (with savoury sauces),(b)marinating (salt- and sugar-based marinades) and (c) via a combination of freeze-chilling and modified atmosphere packaging (MAP).A range of physico-chemical and sensory tests was conducted on the products and their shelf-life status was also determined.
    • Adding value to under-utilised fish species

      Fagan, John; Gormley, Ronan T.; Mitchell, Michelle; Downey, Gerard (Teagasc, 2006-02)
      Tightening fish quotas and supply shortages for conventional species are causing major difficulties for both fishermen and seafood processors. There is a need, therefore, to explore the potential of underutilised fish species both as fillets or portions and as added-value products. The current project at Ashtown Food Research Centre (AFRC) addressed this issue for a number of underutilised species via (a) sous vide processing (with savoury sauces),(b)marinating (salt- and sugar-based marinades) and (c) via a combination of freeze-chilling and modified atmosphere packaging (MAP).A range of physico-chemical and sensory tests was conducted on the products and their shelf-life status was also determined.
    • 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.
    • The Application of On-line Sensors and Novel Control Technologies for Food Processing

      O'Callaghan, Donal; O'Donnell, Colm P.; Mulholland, E.; Duffy, Arthur (Teagasc, 1999-02-01)
      The objective of this research was to apply on-line continuous sensors in food processing, in particular in cheese and milk powder manufacture, in order to improve process control, for example, by achieving higher quality, increased yields, reduced losses and less downgrading of product. This project focused on technologies for monitoring rheologyrelated parameters. The main conclusions were as follows: * Seven systems for monitoring curd formation in cheesemaking were evaluated in the laboratory. * Two on-line systems for monitoring curd firmness (hot-wire and NIR reflectance) have been deployed in a commercial cheese plant with promising results. * Experimental results demonstrated that NIR reflectance / transmission probes have a potential for on-line application in cheesemaking. Despite the difference in scale, the commercial sensors compared well with the cheesemaker s observation of curd firming and look promising as an objective means of predicting curd cut time in an industrial cheese plan. * A detailed knowledge of the rheological variation in cheese curd has been developed and a means of investigating factors which influence the rheology of cheese curd (e.g. effect of heat treatment or fortification of cheesemilk) has been determined. * Technologies available for monitoring concentrate viscosity changes in the production of milk powder have been assembled at pilot scale, and initial trials have been encouraging. Further evaluation of the MTL plant to assess on-line performance, ruggedness and cleanability are planned.
    • Application of Probiotic Bacteria to Functional Foods

      Stanton, Catherine; Ross, R Paul; Fitzgerald, Gerald F; Collins, K.; McBrearty, S.; Gardiner, G.; Desmond, C.; Kelly, J.; Bouchier, P.; Lawless, Fergal; et al. (Teagasc, 2001-05-01)
      Probiotic cultures are described as live microbial feed supplements that improve intestinal microbial balance and are intended for maintenance of health or prevention, rather than the curing of disease. The demand for probiotic foods is increasing in Europe, Japan and the U.S. reflecting the heightened awareness among the public of the relationship between diet and health. Traditionally, the most popular food delivery systems for these cultures have been freshly fermented dairy foods, such as yogurts and fermented milks, as well as unfermented milks with cultures added. However, in the development of functional foods, the technological suitability of probiotic strains poses a serious challenge since their survival and viability may be adversely affected by processing conditions as well as by the product environment and storage conditions. This is a particular concern, given that high levels (at least 107 per gram or ml) of live micro-organisms are recommended for probiotic products. In previous studies (see DPRC No. 29) the successful manufacture of probiotic Cheddar cheese harbouring high levels (>108 cfu/g) of the probiotic Lactobacillus paracasei NFBC 338 strain was reported. Hence, the overall objective of these studies was to continue the development and evaluation of Functional Foods containing high levels of viable probiotic bacteria, with particular emphasis on overcoming the technological barriers and the identification of strains suited to particular applications, such as incorporation into Cheddar cheese and spray-dried powders.
    • Assessment and Control of Foodborne Pathogens in Ireland

      Ross, R Paul; Hill, Colin; Murphy, P.; Jordan, Kieran; Arendt, Elke; Van Sinderen, D.; Morgan, S.M.; Hickey, Rita M.; Maher, M.J.; Kelly, J.; et al. (Teagasc, 2001-05-01)
      Consumers are increasingly demanding food that is free from pathogens, but with less preservatives and additives. As a response to these conflicting demands, current trends in the food industry include minimal processing, and the investigation of alternative inhibitors for use in foods. Additionally, the manufacture of an increasing range of novel foods, and the inclusion of non-dairy ingredients into dairy products, and vice versa, poses additional dangers with respect to safety. Furthermore, the dramatic increase in incidence of food-borne illness internationally, as a result of contamination with food-borne pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes, is a cause of considerable consumer concern. Bacteriocins are inhibitory peptides produced by a number of Lactic Acid Bacteria which are capable of killing other bacteria. These natural inhibitors have widespread applications in the preservation of foods, since they can kill a number of pathogenic and spoilage bacteria. The broad spectrum bacteriocin Lacticin 3147 (discovered in a previous project and patented - see DPRC No. 3) is produced by Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis DPC3147, a food-grade strain, similar to strains used for commercial cheese manufacture. Lacticin 3147 is effective in the inhibition of all Gram positive bacteria tested including the food pathogens Listeria monocytogenes and Staphylococcus aureus and food spoilage bacteria such as Clostridia and Bacillus species. As part of this project the bacteriocin Lacticin 3147 was assessed as a food preservative for improving food safety via inhibition of pathogenic organisms. Thus the project plan followed a "twin-track" approach to assessing and controlling the food safety aspects of Irish food. The first of these was designed to investigate the current safety status of Irish dairy products. The second approach involved an attempt to exploit natural antimicrobial substances, including Lacticin 3147, to protect foods from pathogenic bacteria.
    • Assessment of Food Ingredient Functionality using Laser Microscopy

      Keogh, M.K.; Auty, Mark (Teagasc, 1998-09-01)
      The objectives of this project were, to establish a confocal microscopy facility at Moorepark, to develop suitable methodology for the examination of food products and ingredients, to apply confocal microscopy techniques to food research projects and to use the above technological expertise for commercial applications in the Irish Food Industry. The confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) facility is now established and is fully integrated into the Teagasc research program at Moorepark. The new Confocal Microscopy Service has attracted significant commercial interest and client work is expanding. Results show that confocal laser scanning microscopy is a valuable technique for assessing the functionality of food ingredients in a wide range of food products, as well as being a powerful problem-solving tool. Work is ongoing to develop further specific ingredient localisation techniques, and to promote commercial awareness of the service. Confocal laser scanning microscopy offers a unique contribution to product research and development in the Irish food industry.
    • 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).
    • Biochemical and Functional Relationships in Cheese.

      Guinee, Timothy P.; Fox, P.F.; Fenney, E.P; Mullins, C.; Corcoran, M.O.; Mulholland, E.; Auty, Mark (Teagasc, 2001-01-01)
      Cheese is used extensively in cooking applications, mainly because of its flavour and heat-induced functionality, which is a composite of different attributes such as softening, flow and stretch. The functional attributes of cooked cheese generally have a major impact on the quality of foods in which cheese is included as an ingredient, e.g. pizza pie. Owing to its importance in cookery applications, numerous studies have been undertaken on the effects of different factors on the age-related changes in the functionality of cooked cheese, especially Mozzarella, and to a lesser extent, Cheddar and processed cheese. These studies have shown that the functionality of natural cheese is dynamic, with the different functional attributes undergoing marked changes during ripening, and, for a given cheese variety, the desired functional attributes are optimum within a specific time frame during maturation. The time at which the cheese becomes functional and the width of the window - and hence the functional shelf-life, are affected by the extent of chemical changes, including the increase in proteolysis and the ratio of bound to free moisture. The main aims of this project were to investigate the effects of the following on the age-related changes in heat-related functional attributes (e.g. stretchability, fluidity) of cheese: * fat reduction, * the degree of fat emulsification, * the pH and calcium content and their interaction, * the correlation between proteolysis and functional attributes, especially attributes other than flowability, e.g. rheological properties of raw cheese, stretchability of heated cheese, and * the age-related changes in the functionality of cheeses other than Mozzarella, e.g. analogue pizza cheese and Emmental. At the outset of this project, comparatively little information was available on the effects of the above parameters on the age-related changes in heatinduced functional attributes (e.g. stretchability, fluidity) of cheese, especially for varieties other than Mozzarella.
    • Biochemical and physical indicators of beef quality

      Troy, Declan J. (Teagasc, 1999-03)
      Beef of a consistent quality is required by the meat industry in order to maintain and expand markets. Measurement of beef quality is difficult at factory level. Measurements to indicate the final eating quality are not well developed yet. This project examined novel approaches to this problem using biochemical and physical methods. The Biochemical indicators of beef quality examined included: pH , Protease activity as a potential indicator of meat tenderness, Cathepsin B and cathepsin B&L activities in relation to beef ageing, Relationship between cathepsin B and cathepsin B&L activity and WBSF values, Protein fragments as an indication of beef tenderness and Myofibrillar proteins. The Physical indicators of beef quality examined included: Post-mortem changes in muscle electrical properties and their relationship to meat quality attributes, Near infrared reflectance spectra as indicators of beef quality, Shear force as an indicator of tenderness.
    • Coffee-Stability of Agglomerated Whole Milk Powder and other Dairy Creamer Emulsions

      Kelly, Philip M.; Oldfield, D.J.; Teehan, C.M. (Teagasc, 1999-02-01)
      The objectives of this project were: (a) to investigate the circumstances that cause milk powders and creamers to fail when added to coffee based beverages; (b) to evaluate the role of processing variables in relation to their thermostabilising effects on milk during drying of coffee whiteners; and (c) to determine the role of emulsion formation on the stability of imitation creamers.
    • Commercial systems for ultra-rapid chilling of lamb

      Redmond, Grainne; McGeehin, Brian; Henchion, Maeve; Sheridan, James J.; Troy, Declan J.; Cowan, Cathal; Butler, Francis (Teagasc, 2001-08)
      The overall objective was to devise a rapid chilling system for the Irish lamb processing industry. The objective of the first trial was to assess the effect of ultra-rapid chilling in air at - 4ºC, -10ºC and -20ºC and subsequent ageing on the appearance and tenderness of lamb carcasses. The objective of the next trial was to investigate the effect of carcass splitting, which produces faster chilling rates and reduces skeletal constraint of muscles, on the tenderness of rapidly and conventionally chilled lamb. The next task was to compare the effects of immersion chilling and conventional air chilling on meat tenderness and evaporative weight loss in lamb carcasses. The next task was to assess the level of interest in industry. This required costings of the process and a survey of several lamb processors focusing on their perceptions of rapid chilling in general, its advantages and disadvantages, and the implications of adopting the new system. The final objective was to introduce the ultra-rapid chilling process to industry via a factory trial. Lambs were ultra-rapidly chilled and then exported to France for assessment.
    • The competitiveness of the Irish food processing industry

      Pitts, Eamonn; O'Connell, Larry; McCarthy, B. (Teagasc, 2001-07)
      Ways of measuring industrial competitiveness are discussed and an analysis of the competitiveness of the food sector as a whole and of three sub-sectors are presented. The techniques employed were Revealed Comparative Advantage and the Porter Diamond.
    • Contamination of Beef Carcasses during Hide Removal and use of a Test Bacterial Decontamination System on Beef Hide

      McEvoy, John M.; Doherty, Alice M.; Sheridan, James J.; McGuire, Liam (Teagasc, 2000-12)
      In Ireland, the Abattoirs Act, 1988 (Veterinary Examination) (Amendment), 1998 (S.I. No. 6, 1998) empowers the ante mortem veterinary inspector to reject animals for slaughter or require slaughter under special conditions, based on the level of visible hide contamination. Special conditions for slaughter include reduced line speed, increased space between animals and increased use of workstation hygiene facilities. Since their introduction in Ireland, cattle regulations have become more stringent and at present, both category 4 and 5 animals are rejected. However, a procedure for shaving accumulated hardened faeces (faecal clods) from category 4 and 5 animals has been introduced into most abattoirs, enabling them to reach the cleanliness standard. The potential risk of pathogens surviving in faecal clods on the hide of animals at slaughter is not known. This study examined: 1. The relationship between livestock cleanliness categories and the amount of contamination on the resultant carcasses. 2. The difference in bacterial contamination on carcasses from category 4 animals dressed without increased use of workstation hygiene facilities and those dressed with increased use of hygiene facilities. 3. The survival of E. coli O157:H7 in faecal clods
    • Control and detection of food-borne pathogens

      Duffy, Geraldine; Cloak, Orla; Sheridan, James J.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland (Teagasc, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, 1998-08)
      The objective of this study was to develop rapid methods for the detection of bacteria from food.