• HACCP for Irish beef, pork and lamb slaughter

      Bolton, Declan J.; Sheridan, James J.; US-Ireland Co-operation Programme in Agriculture Science and Technology; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland (Teagasc, 2002-02)
      It is generally accepted that HACCP principles should be incorporated into the food safety control systems in meat processing plants to better assure food safety. The objective of this project was to publish detailed HACCP slaughter documents for the Irish beef, pork and lamb processing industries. These would provide the necessary information and detail to facilitate the implementation of HACCP on the slaughter floor (from lairage to chilling) in Irish meat plants. To this end `HACCP for Irish Beef Slaughter' was published in October 2000, `HACCP for Irish Pork Slaughter' in December 2001 and `HACCP for Irish Lamb Slaughter' will be available early in 2002. These are non-generic, detailed documents which provide the scientific basis for establishing critical control points (CCP), critical limits, monitoring and corrective action procedures.
    • Hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) and hygiene control auditing in Irish beef abattoirs

      Bolton, Declan J.; Pearce, Rachel; Tergny, Annabel; Howlett, Brendan (Teagasc, 2007-06)
      This project validated two innovative technologies for use in improving the safety of Irish beef. Online monitoring was developed and successfully tested as a tool for controlling faecal contamination on beef carcasses with the resultant reduction in microbial counts. A novel anti-microbial, LactiSAL®, was also tested and validated for use in the beef industry. Sponge swabbing using a polyurethane sponge was developed and validated for use in carcass testing as required in European Commission Decision 2001/471/EC. The costs of developing and implementing a HACCP system in Irish beef slaughter plants were assessed. Furthermore, a guide to relevant food safety legislation, including the development and auditing of HACCP and prerequisites for beef slaughter (in compliance with 2001/471/EC and the European Commission Hygiene Regulations), was developed and published.
    • High Pressure Processing of Dairy Foods

      Donnelly, W.J.; Beresford, Tom; Lane, C.N.; Walsh-O'Grady, D.; O'Connor, Paula M.; Fitzgerald, Richard J.; Murphy, P.M.; O'Reilly, Conor; Morgan, S.M.; Ross, R Paul; et al. (Teagasc, 2000-09-01)
      The term High Pressure Processing (HPP) is used to describe the technology whereby products are exposed to very high pressures in the region of 50 - 800 MPa (500 - 8000 Atmospheres). The potential application of HPP in the food industry has gained popularity in recent years, due to developments in the construction of HPP equipment which makes the technology more affordable. Applying HPP to food products results in modifications to interactions between individual components, rates of enzymatic reactions and inactivation of micro-organisms. The first commercial HPP products appeared on the market in 1991 in Japan, where HPP is now being used commercially for products such as jams, sauces, fruit juices, rice cakes and desserts. The pioneering research into the application of HPP to milk dates back to the end of the 19th century. Application of HPP to milk has been shown to modify its gel forming characteristics as well as reducing its microbial load. HPP offers the potential to induce similar effects to those generated by heat on milk protein. Recent reports have also indicated that HPP could accelerate the ripening of cheese. Much of the Irish cheese industry is based on the production of Cheddar cheese, the ripening time for which can vary from 4 - 12 months or more, depending on grade. A substantial portion of the cost associated with Cheddar manufacture is therefore attributed to storage under controlled conditions during ripening. Thus, any technology which may accelerate the ripening of Cheddar cheese while maintaining a balanced flavour and texture is of major economic significance. While food safety is a dominant concern, consumers are increasingly demanding foods that maintain their natural appearance and flavour, while free of chemical preservatives. HPP offers the food industry the possibility of achieving these twin goals as this technology can lead to reduced microbial loads without detrimentally effecting the nutritional or sensory qualities of the product. The development of food ingredients with novel functional properties offers the dairy industry an opportunity to revitalise existing markets and develop new ones. HPP can lead to modifications in the structure of milk components, in particular protein, which may provide interesting possibilities for the development of high value nutritional and functional ingredients. Hence these projects set out to investigate the potential of HPP in the dairy industry and to identify products and processes to which it could be applied.
    • High pressure technology in the manufacture of minimally-processed meat products

      Troy, Declan J.; Crehan, Clodagh; Mullen, Anne Maria; Desmond, Eoin (Teagasc, 2001-07)
      High hydrostatic pressure processing was applied to raw minced meat prior to product formulation and the results indicate that with 50 MPa pressure it was possible to reduce the salt in frankfurters from 2.5% to 1.5% without compromising the safety and overall quality. Similarly the phosphate content of frankfurters could be reduced from 0.5% to 0.25% after pressure treatment. Cook loss from the treated frankfurters was significantly reduced indicating a higher yield of product due to the high pressure.
    • Hygiene and safety of Irish beef carcasses.

      Kerr, Marie; Sheridan, James J. (Teagasc, 2002-10)
      Investigations were carried out in a number of beef abattoirs in Ireland. Information was obtained on the hygienic status of the carcasses being produced and also on their safety, using the presence of Salmonella as an indicator. The data showed that, in general, the hygiene of the carcasses being produced was of a satisfactory quality and that faecal contamination was low, as indicated by the coliform and E. coli counts. The safety of the carcasses as indicated by the presence of Salmonella was considered to be a cause for concern. The level of contamination by this pathogen of 7.6% was considered to be high and requires investigation. The majority of the Salmonella present on carcasses was S. typhimurium DT104, which is resistant to a range of antibodies. The work was part of an EU project and some results are presented from other partners.
    • Identification of the key compounds responsible for Cheddar cheese flavour

      Beresford, Tom; Wallace, J.; Aherne, Seamus; Drinan, Finbarr; Eason, D.; Corcoran, M.O.; Mulholland, E.; Hannon, John A. (Teagasc, 2000-09-01)
      There is a poor understanding of the relationship between organoleptic assessment of cheese and quantitative analysis of flavour compounds. Further, the contribution of particular cheese-making parameters such as ripening temperature and starter culture has not been fully elucidated. During the ripening of most cheese varieties complex chemical conversions occur within the cheese matrix. In most cheese varieties breakdown of protein is the most important flavour development pathway. The primary cheese protein, casein, is degraded enzymatically to short peptides and free amino acids. The agents primarily responsible for these conversions are the residual rennet that is retained in the cheese curd at the end of the manufacturing phase and the proteinases and peptidases that are associated with the starter bacteria. While the rate and degree of proteolysis are of vital significance for desired flavour development, the direct products of proteolysis do not fully define cheese flavour. Much research is now demonstrating that the further biochemical and chemical conversions of the products of proteolysis, in particular the amino acids, are necessary for full flavour development. The products produced by these pathways are volatile at low boiling points and are thus released during mastication of the cheese in the mouth. Many of these volatile compounds contribute to the flavour sensation experienced by the consumer. A very wide spectrum of such compounds have been isolated from cheese, in excess of two hundred in some cheese varieties. It is now generally accepted that there is no individual compound which defines cheese flavour completely and that the flavour sensation is the result of numerous compounds present in the correct proportions. This has become known as the Component Balance Theory . The application of modern analytical techniques as proposed in this project would provide a greater understanding of the significant flavour compounds in Cheddar cheese and help to identify the impact of specific cheese-making parameters such as starter flora and ripening temperature on the production of volatile flavour compounds. This data would assist the general programme on flavour improvement of cheese which should ultimately benefit the cheese manufacturer. Hence this project set out to develop methods to identify the key flavour compounds in Cheddar cheese. These techniques would then be applied to experimental and commercial cheeses during ripening in an effort to identify key compounds and the influence of starter cultures and ripening temperature on their production.
    • Improved Food Safety through Sterility of Air in Food Processing and Packaging.

      O'Callaghan, Donal; Murphy, P.; Lynch, Denise B; Coleman, S. (Teagasc, 1999-06-01)
      The aims of this research were to develop reliable methods for evaluating the level of airborne micro-organisms in food processing facilities and to study the viability and behaviour of micro-organisms in air filtration systems. The main conclusions were as follows: · Assessment of air quality involves monitoring both particulate and microbial levels as there is no simple relationship between these phenomena in a food process environment. · The large fluctuations in microbial levels found in air in these studies underline the necessity of frequent and regular air sampling in processing facilities. · It was established that micro-organisms can grow inside an air filter under certain environmental conditions and give rise to intermittent microbial germ contamination of the cleaned air. · It was demonstrated that flowing air affects the survival of microorganisms and the survival rate is dependent on filter class. Hence more emphasis on filter design aimed at effective microbial control is advised. · A combined system for filtering and sterilisation by ozone was demonstrated to be an efficient technique for extending the microbial separation efficiency of air filters.
    • Improving the quality of gluten-free products

      Gallagher, Eimear; McCarthy, Denise; Gormley, Ronan T.; Arendt, Elke (Teagasc, 2004-03)
      The incidence of coeliac disease or other allergic reactions/intolerances to gluten is increasing, largely due to improved diagnostic procedures and changes in eating habits. The worldwide number of sufferers of coeliac disease has been predicted to increase by a factor of ten over the next number of years, resulting in a growing market for gluten-free cereal-based products. Market research has shown that many of the products currently on sale are of inferior quality. The replacement of gluten presents a major technological challenge, as it is an essential structure-building protein which is necessary for formulating high quality cereal-based goods. Therefore, the production of high quality gluten-free bread is difficult.
    • Improving the Quality of Low Fat Cheddar Cheese

      Guinee, Timothy P.; Fenelon, Mark A.; O'Kennedy, Brendan; Mulholland, E. (Teagasc, 1999-02-01)
      The aims of this study were to elucidate the contribution of fat to cheese biochemistry and texture and to improve the texture and flavour of half-fat Cheddar cheese by modifications in make procedure, the addition of a fat mimetic, and/or the use of novel starter cultures/bacterial culture adjuncts. The main conclusions were as follows: A 'Moorepark Process' has been established for the production of half-fat Cheddar cheese with improved sensory acceptability. The flavour and texture of half-fat (17% w/w) Cheddar was improved by modification of the cheesemaking procedure and/or ripening conditions and through the use of novel starter cultures and/or bacterial culture adjuncts. Extensive databases have been compiled on: the effects of fat on the compositional, microbiological, biochemical, rheological and sensory properties of, and the yield of, Cheddar cheese. the compositional, biochemical and sensory characteristics of commercial Cheddar cheeses of different fat levels, available on the Irish and UK markets. Reduction in the fat level of Cheddar cheese resulted in a marked deterioration both in texture and flavour due to: increases in cheese hardness and fracture stress, indicating that the cheese became more elastic, tough and less amenable to mastication. a higher ratio of secondary-to-primary proteolysis a reduction in the level of primary proteolysis and an increase in the concentration of hydrophobic peptides which are conducive to bitterness.
    • Indicator organisms to determine the use of chilling as a critical point in beef slaughter HACCP

      Prendergast, Deirdre M.; Sheridan, James J.; Downey, Gerard (Teagasc, 2008-11)
      During chilling, temperatures of carcass surfaces at different sites change over time as do other parameters such as water activity (aw), the structure of the muscle and other tissues, as the carcass enters rigor mortis. Many of these factors are known to have a major effect on cell survival and growth and must be considered in determining the influence of chilling on bacterial survival on carcass surfaces. This study aimed to determine if chilling could be used as a critical control point (CCP) in beef slaughter in relation to pathogens such as E. coli O157:H7 and L. monocytogenes, using E. coli and Listeria innocua as pathogen indicators. The present study was designed to determine the influence of (a) chilling at 10oC for 72 h on the survival of E. coli and (b) chilling at 4oC for 72 h on the survival of L. innocua inoculated at different sites on beef carcasses. Three sites (neck, outside round and brisket) were inoculated (1) immediately after dressing while hot (E. coli and L. innocua) and (2) when cold after chilling (L. innocua). The influence of changes in surface aw was also considered and their relationship to the survival of E. coli and L. innocua over time was assessed. The data are discussed in relation to the use of chilling as a CCP in beef hazard analysis (HACCP) and the monitoring of neck temperature as the most suitable CCP.
    • Indicator organisms to determine the use of chilling as a critical point in beef slaughter HACCP

      Prendergast, Deirdre M.; Sheridan, James J.; Downey, Gerard (Teagasc, 01/11/2008)
      During chilling, temperatures of carcass surfaces at different sites change over time as do other parameters such as water activity (aw), the structure of the muscle and other tissues, as the carcass enters rigor mortis. Many of these factors are known to have a major effect on cell survival and growth and must be considered in determining the influence of chilling on bacterial survival on carcass surfaces. This study aimed to determine if chilling could be used as a critical control point (CCP) in beef slaughter in relation to pathogens such as E. coli O157:H7 and L. monocytogenes, using E. coli and Listeria innocua as pathogen indicators. The present study was designed to determine the influence of (a) chilling at 10oC for 72 h on the survival of E. coli and (b) chilling at 4oC for 72 h on the survival of L. innocua inoculated at different sites on beef carcasses. Three sites (neck, outside round and brisket) were inoculated (1) immediately after dressing while hot (E. coli and L. innocua) and (2) when cold after chilling (L. innocua). The influence of changes in surface aw was also considered and their relationship to the survival of E. coli and L. innocua over time was assessed. The data are discussed in relation to the use of chilling as a CCP in beef hazard analysis (HACCP) and the monitoring of neck temperature as the most suitable CCP.
    • Influence of Enterococci and Thermophilic Starter Bacteria on Cheddar Cheese Flavour

      Beresford, Tom; Cogan, Tim; Wallace, J.; Drinan, D.; Tobin, S.; Piveteau, P.; Carroll, N.; Deasy, B. (Teagasc, 1998-09-01)
      This project set out to identify suitable enterococci and thermophilic starter strains which could be added to the cheese during manufacture (as starter adjuncts) with the specific aims of enhancing flavour during ripening as well as facilitating flavour diversity - a trait sought by many commercial Cheddar companies. This project confirmed the potential of thermophilic lactic acid strains to affect flavour when used as starter adjuncts in Cheddar cheese manufacture. Their use can also lead to the development of novel flavours. Many adjunct cultures proposed to-date to enhance Cheddar flavour are composed of strains of lactococcal starter, selected for their flavouring capacity. However, application of such strains in industry would lead to increased probability of phage attack on the primary starter. On the other hand, thermophilic lactic acid strains are phage unrelated to conventional starter and thus would not lead to the introduction of starter specific phage into the cheese plant. A thermophilic strain from the Moorepark collection (DPC 4571) was shown to have major commercial potential as a flavour enhancer.
    • Influence of feeding systems on the eating quality of beef

      Troy, Declan J.; Murray, Brendan; O'Sullivan, Aileen; Mooney, Teresa; Moloney, Aidan P; Kerry, Joseph P. (Teagasc, 2002-10)
      The objective was to determine pre-slaughter factors which may enhance the eating quality of beef and to assist the Irish beef production chain to exploit these factors to produce beef of higher quality and increased consumer acceptability. The effects of pre-slaughter growth rate, high energy diets, feed type and age at slaughter on beef quality were examined.
    • Ingredient Dehydration of Fermented and Flavour-Sensitive Products.

      Kelly, Philip M.; Keogh, M.K.; Kelly, J.; Kennedy, B. (Teagasc, 2001-08-01)
      Traditionally, yoghurt is produced in a hydrated form and, thus, possesses a limited shelf-life even when refrigerated. Consumption within a short time of production is advisable, particularly if advantage is to be taken of the putative benefits associated with the ingestion of live yoghurt cultures. The production of an instant yoghurt powder would, thus, provide benefits of shelf-life extension and convenience of preparation and storage. However, the drying of such products is difficult due to low pH, which causes stickiness in drier chambers and makes powder recovery difficult. Furthermore, key flavour components formed by fermentation such as acetaldehyde and diacetyl which contribute to the unique flavour of natural yoghurt are sensitive to heat and easily lost during spray-drying. Hence, a major challenge of this project was to investigate the processing technologies and conditions necessary for the minimisation of flavour losses during the spray-drying of acidified/fermented milk bases, to monitor the effects on drier performance such as powder adhesion to drier walls, and to develop functional forms of the spray-dried ingredients. The main aims of the project were to: - improve yoghurt powder spray-drying efficiency through optimisation of concentrate solids, - investigate the effect of spray-drying conditions on flavour losses of sensitive products such as dehydrated yoghurt and fermented creams,- apply technological approaches for the reduction of flavour losses: a) ingredient formulation, b) modification of fermentation conditions, - investigate the production of agglomerated forms of spray-dried yoghurt powders, - study factors affecting the physical properties such as rheological characteristics and powder bulk density, and - adapt technology to ensure greater viability of culture cell numbers at the end of the drying process.
    • Ingredient Development using a Pilot-Scale Tall-Form Spray Drier

      Kelly, Philip M.; Kelly, J.; Harrington, D. (Teagasc, 1998-02-01)
      The main objectives of the project were to establish relationships between process variables and product physicochemical/functional characteristics in the course of processing and drying new dairy-based ingredients such as high-fat and protein-rich products in regular and agglomerated forms. By establishing processing protocols, R&D users of the ingredient drying facilities of Moorepark Technology Ltd may be able to predict the process variables necessary for desired end-product specifications to be achieved, and thus make experimentation more efficient and cost effective, as well as facilitate small scale production runs and sample preparation for market development purposes. Particular emphasis was placed on the development of high fat cream and fat-filled powders, flavour-delivery systems and protein-enriched ingredients. The major achievement of this project is that it is now possible to confidently select the appropriate processing conditions during the spray drying of ingredients in order to attain desired end-product specifications. Based on the use of the newly-installed Tall-form drier, the project succeeded in correlating the effects of process parameters of this technicallyadvanced pilot plant with the physicochemical properties of powders containing varying fat (20-80%) and protein contents. In general, the physicochemical characteristics of fat-filled and cream-filled powders with similar fat contents were similar except for higher solubility index values (range 0.1-0.6) in the case of the former particularly in the range 26-28% fat. Furthermore, the free fat content of powders may now be controlled much more precisely using an appropriate combination of total fat, atomiser nozzle selection and post-drying blending.
    • Integrated disease and pest control in Irish mushroom tunnels.

      Staunton, Liam; Dunne, R. (Teagasc, 2001-02-01)
      This project set out, in the year 1999, to develop and disseminate an integrated pest and diseases management system for mushrooms. The project was a natural successor to project 4095 (Chemical and Biological Control of Mushroom Pests and Diseases). The main objective was to research and bring together information on efficient methods of control and to put this information into a suitable blueprint to enable Irish growers achieve satisfactory disease and pest control with minimal pesticide usage. Factors identified for improved disease control include: (1) Avoidance of soil contamination including dust in the growing unit (2) Protection of new casing (3)Good hygienic practices (4) Use of spore grade filters on the air intake (5) Good fly control. People and flies are efficient disease carriers (6) Early detection and eradication (7) Suitable procedures when emptying tunnels (8) Use of steam cookout. Factors identified for improved pest control include: (1) Protection of newly spawned compost (2) Exclusion by screening air inlets and vents (3) Proper sealing of tunnels and closing doors promptly (4) Early detection by monitoring (5) Judicious use of approved pesticides (6) Biological control methods (7) Early termination of infested crops
    • Irish domestic food safety knowledge, practice and microbiology with particular emphasis on staphylococcus aureus

      Bolton, Declan J.; Kennedy, Jean; Cowan, Cathal (Teagasc, 2005-06)
      This study examined consumer food safety knowledge on the island of Ireland. Domestic refrigerators were tested for the presence of a range of pathogenic bacteria. The effect of refrigerated storage on the antibiotic resistance and thermal resistance of S . aureus were also investigated. Irish consumers displayed a considerable lack of knowledge about correct refrigeration temperatures and proper hygiene procedures to prevent crosscontamination in the kitchen. Domestic refrigerators were contaminated with a range of bacterial pathogens including S . aureus (41%), S almonella spp. (7%), E scherichia. coli (6%), L isteria monocytogenes (6%) and Y ersinia enterocolitica (2%). Viewing Options
    • Key factors influencing economic relationships and communication in European agri-food chains

      Henchion, Maeve; McIntyre, Bridin; Downey, Gerard (Teagasc, 2008-09)
      The project considered meat and cereal commodities in six EU countries. In total thirteen agri-food chains were examined: five pig-to-pigmeat chains, three cattle-to-beef chains, two barley-to-beer chains and three cereals-to-bakery product chains. The pig-to-pigmeat and cattle-to-beef chains were examined in Ireland.
    • Managing new food product development.

      Daly, Eimear; European Union (Teagasc, 2002-10)
      The future success of the Irish food industry depends on the ability of companies to develop new skills in a rapidly changing market environment. One such skill is the management of new product development. This report illustrates the impact that training in the product development process had on a range of small to medium enterprises. Training was delivered as a series of interactive workshops covering the key stages of the new product development process. Each company also received up to 7 days consultancy support to facilitate implementation of the learning.
    • The market for speciality foods in Ireland

      Meehan, Hilary; Murphy, Aidan; O'Reilly, Seamus; Bogue, Joe (Teagasc, 2001-05)
      The speciality food sector has experienced above average industry growth over recent years. Most speciality foods are produced in limited quantities using non-industrial artisan techniques. The majority of speciality food producing businesses were set up in the last fifteen years, have a turnover below €635,000, are based in a rural region and employ less than ten people. The most important markets for Irish speciality food producers are the export market, food service and multiple retailers.