• A nationwide surveillance study on E.coli 0157:H7 and enterobacteriaceae in Irish minced beef products

      Duffy, Geraldine; Cagney, Claire; Crowley, Helen; Sheridan, James J.; Food Safety Authority of Ireland (Teagasc, 2003-04)
      A surveillance study on prevalence and numbers of E . coli O157: H7 in minced beef (unpackaged or packaged) and beefburgers (frozen, fresh and unpackaged or packaged) was carried out over a period of 12 months in the Republic of Ireland. A total of 1533 products were tested with approximately 15 products collected from each of the 26 counties every 3 months. Mince and beefburgers were collected from both supermarkets and butcher shop outlets. A standard analysis was conducted by sample enrichment, IMS extraction and plating onto SMAC agar with confirmation by PCR. The results showed that 43 retail beef products (2.8 %) contained E .coli O157:H7. The number of E .coli O157: H7 in 21 of these samples ranged from log100.51 - 4.03 cfu g-1 ( i.e. 3 to 10,700 bacteria per gram) while in the remaining 22 the pathogen was detectable by enrichment only. There was a seasonal effect observed with 33 of 43 positive samples detected in January (n = 8), April /May(n=20) and August (n=5) and the remaining 10 positive samples detected over the other 8 months. Of the beef products testing positive, 32 were purchased from supermarkets and 11 from butcher shops. E .coli O157:H7 was recovered from 2.8% (13 / 457) of fresh packaged mince and from 1.88 % (3 / 160) of fresh unpackaged burgers purchased from butcher shops. Of the 43 isolates recovered, 41 contained the virulence genes v t1, v t2, E aeA and H lyA while the remaining 2 isolates contained only one of the vtproducing genes (v t1or v t2).
    • Near Infrared Spectroscopy in the Food Industry: A Tool of Quality Management.

      Downey, Gerard (Teagasc, 01/03/1999)
      Near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy is a rapid, non-destructive analytical technique which has been used in the food and agriculture industries for almost 20 years. Ireland was one of the first countries in the world to adopt this method for national trading purposes and the grain trade has used it for off-farm and in-process analysis since 1981. However, other sectors have been slower to realise its potential and as part of a process of demonstrating the role which it may play in monitoring quality in a range of food industry applications, a programme of research and development has been on-going within Teagasc and its predecessor An Foras Talúntais. NIR spectroscopy provides the food processor with information. This information may describe how much of a given substance is present in a mixture or how the overall quality of the substance compares to a reference material e.g. a previous batch of raw material, finished goods or a competitor’s product. This report provides some examples of precompetitive R&D on representative qualitative and quantitative problems in a range of foods and food ingredients. The use of NIR spectra collected within 24 hours of slaughter to predict beef tenderness 14 days later shows considerable promise. Non-destructive monitoring of flesh composition in farmed salmon has paved the way for the efficient use of expensive feed materials while the content of each species in binary mixtures of minced beef and lamb has been accurate enough to suggest the use of NIR spectroscopy as a rapid screening tool by regulatory agencies, food processors and retailers. Classification of a range of food ingredients (including skim milk powder and flour) into one of a number of functionally-discrete categories has been successfully achieved with levels of accuracy high enough to warrant immediate industry utilisation i.e. greater than 90% for skim milk powders and 97% in the case of flour. Species confirmation in a number of raw minced meats (chicken, turkey, pork, beef and lamb) has been achieved with over 90% accuracy in feasibility studies. Calibrations transferred from one NIR instrument to another lose accuracy because of differences in instrument construction, sample presentation and other factors. A research effort has recently been applied to this problem of transferability and results are available for both scanning and fixed filter instruments. The success achieved opens the way for using NIR results obtained in different companies or countries as an uncontested basis for trade.
    • New product development opportunities for Irish companies in the British cheese market

      Cowan, Cathal; Downey, Gerard; Irish Dairy Levy Research Trust (Teagasc, 2008-11)
      The primary objective of this research was to identify innovative cheese concepts appropriate for UK consumers and suitable for Irish industry to manufacture. It also aimed to identify personal, situational and market factors that influence consumers when purchasing cheese. This research study used existing market literature, in-depth interviews and consumer focus groups.
    • New technologies in the manufacture of low fat meat products

      Allen, Paul; Dreeling, Niamh; Desmond, Eoin; Hughes, Eimear; Mullen, Anne Maria; Troy, Declan J. (Teagasc, 1999-02)
      The objective of this project was to provide a sound scientific basis for the development of low fat meat products. The emphasis was placed on identifying the barriers to producing high quality, low fat meat products and providing a knowledge base for manufacturers to overcome these, rather than actually developing new products. Each partner had specific tasks and worked with traditional products of their country. A wide range of products was thereby studied including comminuted, emulsion, cured and dried fermented, so that the results are widely applicable.
    • Nitrofurans : measuring tissue-bound residues in meat

      O'Keeffe, Michael; Connolly, Anne; Nugent, Audrey (Teagasc, 2006-08)
      The aims of this project were to (a) develop a range of screening and confirmatory test methods that might be applied to effectively test for the illicit use of the prohibited nitrofuran antimicrobials, (b) study the persistence of nitrofuran antimicrobials as bound metabolite residues in edible tissues and (c) undertake a pan-European survey of the incidence of nitrofurans in retail pork.
    • Nitrofurans: Measuring Tissue-Bound Residues in Meat

      O'Keeffe, Michael; Conneely, Anne; Nugent, Audrey; Downey, Gerard; European Union (Teagasc, 01/08/2006)
      The aims of this project were to (a) develop a range of screening and confirmatory test methods that might be applied to effectively test for the illicit use of the prohibited nitrofuran antimicrobials,(b) study the persistence of nitrofuran antimicrobials as bound metabolite residues inedible tissues and (c) undertake a pan-European survey of the incidence of nitrofurans in retail pork.
    • Novel and Speciality Cheeses - Broadening the National Cheese Base

      Sheehan, Jeremiah J.; Wilkinson, M.G.; Beresford, Tom; Meehan, Hilary; Cowan, Cathal; Delahunty, Conor; McSweeney, Paul L. H.; Kelly, Alan L. (Teagasc, 2002-04-01)
      The Irish dairy industry is considered vulnerable to the price pressures of the commodity market, on which it is highly dependent. Hence, a broadening of the product base, would reduce exposure to this market while offering the potential of exploiting the lucrative added value market. This involves risks and challenges. The cheese market in particular continues to grow and investment in innovative products have in some cases been highly successful. However, a number of obstacles confront Irish cheese manufacturers. These include: seasonality of milk supply, strong tradition of Cheddar production, knowledge gaps in industrial-scale specialty cheese manufacture, and a reticence to commit significant investment, particularly in plant. To address some of these obstacles a project was undertaken with the overall objective of developing a range of cheeses with novel flavour, texture and appearance which were complementary to existing manufacturing plant and technologies. The project was built on the knowledge, skills base and flexible cheese manufacturing plant developed in a previous study (see DPRC Report No. 9), and had the following specific objectives: * assess consumer preferences, * develop a range of novel cheeses capable of being manufactured wholly, or in part, on existing plant, * determine the effects of manipulation of process variables on novel hybrid composition and ripening, * assess market potential and consumer reaction to selected cheeses, * determine the relationships between cheese composition and sensory characteristics, and * present product options to Irish industry.
    • Novel Milk Protein Ingredients.

      Kelly, Philip M.; O'Kennedy, Brendan; Cribbin, M. (Teagasc, 2001-05-01)
      The manufacture of casein/caseinates containing whey protein is immediately attractive due to its potential to enhance product yield. However, some technologies capable of producing these products are ineligible for manufacturing subsidy because of restrictions pertaining to relevant EU regulations. Other emerging technologies require refinement and process design before implementation at industrial level. Furthermore, the implications of incorporating virtually the entire complement of whey protein in what is essentially a caseinate ingredient needs to be investigated carefully in terms of the versatility of use in a wide range of food formulations. The development is significant in the context of U.S. market changes - traditionally, an important outlet for Irish casein exports amounting to 20,000 - 27,000 t per annum. Ireland accounts for ~ 30% of EU casein/caseinate production with the greater proportion in Rennet form (27,000 t) and the remainder (18,000 t) as Acid casein. In recent years, a new market for a related casein ingredient - milk protein concentrate (MPC) opened up in the US, and accounted for total imports of 40,000 t in 1998, 10,000 t of which were exported from Ireland. However, this market is more restricted due to regulatory changes introduced in response to the perceived threat of MPC imports to the US dairy industry. Since casein, or its derivative products such as milk proteinate (EU Annex III compliant), are not perceived to be in competition with local milk supplies and dairy ingredients, it is now hoped that Irish casein manufacturers may be able to reclaim recently lost markets through the introduction of an innovative proteinate ingredient which is expected to command a premium in nutrition applications e.g. in sports, infant formula and nutraceutical products. With a choice of emerging new technologies for the production of novel casein-related ingredients, the dairy industry has an opportunity to decide on what is appropriate for the defence of its market share and at the same time benefit from simultaneous compliance with relevant regulatory supports (EU) and market access rules (USA). Hence the main aims of this project were: * To investigate new technologies for the isolation of casein and casein/whey protein combinations in the course of developing new milk protein ingredients, and * To compare the performance in selected food formulations of novel milk protein ingredients namely milk proteinates, milk protein concentrates, native phosphocasein and classical Annex III casein products.
    • Nutrition: Nutritional Attributes of Animal and Milk Fat (CLA).

      Stanton, Catherine; Lawless, Fergal; Murphy, John; Aherne, Seamus; Devery, Rosaleen; O'Shea, Marianne (Teagasc, 2000-09-01)
      In the recent past, there has been considerable interest in the potential health-promoting properties of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid produced naturally in ruminant animals. CLA has been shown to be a very effective anti-cancer agent in animal models and cell culture studies, as well as being capable of retarding the initiation and progression of heart disease (atherosclerosis). It has also been shown to have potential as a growth promoter and is capable of improving feed efficiency. Hence from a human health viewpoint, it appears desirable to increase CLA levels in foods to protect against disease and enhance general health and well-being. The primary sources of CLA are animal fats (including dairy fats) derived from ruminant animals while vegetable fats and oils contain significantly lower levels. This project was aimed at enriching the CLA content of dairy foods through animal dietary manipulation, and milk fat fractionation.
    • Nutritional enhancement of meat products with dietary fibres

      McDonagh, Ciara; Troy, Declan J.; Desmond, Eoin; McDermott, Helen (Teagasc, 2004-02)
      Normal fat (about 23 %) and reduced fat (about 10%) pork sausages and beefburgers were nutritionally enhanced using dietary fibres from various plant sources: inulin, wheat, citrus, potato, oat and pea.
    • Nutritional Studies on Dried Functional Food Ingredients Containing omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty-Acids.

      Kelly, Philip M.; Keogh, M.K.; Kelly, J.; O'Kennedy, Brendan; Murray, C.A. (Teagasc, 2000-10-01)
      The nutritional benefits of fish oils are generally attributed to their content of long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Diets rich in these fatty acids are known to reduce the risk of coronary thrombosis, and are recommended to those who are susceptible to atherosclerosis. In addition, some of these long chain PUFAs play an important role in early infant nutrition, in the development of vital human organs such as the neural tube. However, practical difficulties arise in achieving an adequate daily intake of fish oils to obtain these physiological benefits. Per capita fish consumption is low in many countries, especially of oily fish with high levels of omega-3 PUFAs. Fish oil, while available as a dietary supplement, is not universally appealing in that form. Attempts to incorporate fish oil into food formulations have had limited success mainly because of fishy flavours coming through in the consumer products. Fish oil is particularly susceptible to oxidation, which results in fishy, painty and metallic flavours. Hence the main aim of this study was the development of a dried ingredient in which the formulation and related processing conditions were optimised to protect the fish oil from oxidation. Protection of any sensitive oil may be achieved by means of microencapsulation, whereby oil is dispersed as very fine droplets in emulsions. During subsequent spray drying the droplets are effectively sealed inside a protective coating of protein surrounded by carbohydrate. The objective was, therefore, to evaluate microencapsulation as a means of extending the shelf-life of fish oil in powder form thus increasing its versatility as a nutritional ingredient in food formulations.
    • On-line Sensor Control for Milk Powder and Cheese Manufacture.

      O'Callaghan, Donal; Schulz, Daniela; O'Donnell, Colm P.; Duffy, Arthur; Hade, John; Howard, Vincent (Teagasc, 2001-08-01)
      This project investigated the use of on-line sensors of rheological characteristics which can be measured during the manufacture of milk powder and cheese. The objective is to use on-line measurements to fine tune each process, so as to compensate for the variability of milk.
    • Optimisation of Ingredient Formulation in Processed Meat Products.

      O'Kennedy, Brendan; Neville, Denis P.; Kelly, Philip M. (Teagasc, 2000-10-01)
      Reformed and restructured meat are two major categories of processed meat products. Reformed meat products require intact meat pieces to bind together while restructured meat products are extensively minced prior to restructuring. Salts such as sodium chloride and phosphates together with mechanical treatment and heat, have been used to bind meat pieces together. In the process the proteins in muscle become soluble, bind large amounts of water and gel on heating. While heat-induced gelation of soluble meat protein provides binding in reformed meat products and reduces cook losses in restructured meat products, no binding occurs in raw meat systems. Non-meat proteins, especially soya protein, are routinely used in processed meat products, often in conjunction with salts, to increase water and fat binding during the cooking process. However, such proteins do not bind intact meat pieces in either the raw or cooked state. Transglutaminase (TGase) is a food-grade commercially available enzyme which can crosslink suitable proteins leading to the formation of a protein matrix (gel) and immobilisation of large quantities of water. This property could improve the water-binding properties of non-meat proteins in restructured meat products. The prospect of crosslinking native meat proteins and non-meat proteins or native meat proteins on adjacent meat pieces would make salt-free reformed meat products a realistic objective. Hence, the main objective of this project was to study protein-protein interactions in reformed and restructured meats, especially between meat proteins and added non-meat proteins in the absence of salts but in the presence of a protein crosslinking enzyme.
    • Overview of seafood research at Ashtown food research centre (1990 - 2007)

      Gormley, Ronan T.; Downey, Gerard (Teagasc, 2008-02)
      In recent years, the Irish seafood industry has faced stringent quotas and dwindling fish stocks. The introduction of fish farming added a new dimension but falling prices also created difficulties for this sector. However, the recent report of the Seafood Industry Strategy Group on ‘Steering a New Course’ and the Sea Change Programme of the Marine Institute will add new impetus to the industry. The current report summarises R&D on seafood conducted at Ashtown Food Research Centre (AFRC) in the period 1990-2007 and represents a major portion of seafood R&D conducted nationally during that period.
    • Overview of Seafood Research at Ashtown Food Research Centre (1990 - 2007)

      Gormley, Ronan T.; Downey, Gerard (Teagasc, 01/02/2008)
      In recent years, the Irish seafood industry has faced stringent quotas and dwindling fish stocks. The introduction of fish farming added a new dimension but falling prices also created difficulties for this sector. However, the recent report of the Seafood Industry Strategy Group on ‘Steering a New Course’ and the Sea Change Programme of the Marine Institute will add new impetus to the industry. The current report summarises R&D on seafood conducted at Ashtown Food Research Centre (AFRC) in the period 1990-2007 and represents a major portion of seafood R&D conducted nationally during that period.
    • Predicting the eating quality of meat

      Mullen, Anne Maria; Murray, Brendan; Troy, Declan J.; European Union (Teagasc, 2000-12)
      A novel, water soluble protein fragment [1735Da] was isolated from beef striploin and characterised. As soluble components of the proteolytic system are easily extracted from muscle they may be suitable for routine factory analysis. This fragment originated from the important myofibrillar protein, troponin T and may serve as a tenderness indicator.
    • Producing food ingredients by extrusion cooking

      Byrne, Briege; O'Neill, Gary; Troy, Declan J.; Lyng, James G. (Teagasc, 2001-04)
      The objective of the project was to improve the quality and acceptability of convenience foods produced by extrusion cooking. A range of acceptable, quality ingredients and food products was produced by extrusion cooking. These products had acceptable textural properties and were received favourably in consumer pre-test studies. However, a trade and consumer market analysis suggests that it would be difficult to develop a market for extruded meat products.
    • Production of pork with improved nutritional and eating quality

      O'Keeffe, Michael; Eskola, Mart; Nugent, Audrey; Fitzpatrick, Jane; European Union (Teagasc, 2007-06)
      The SUSPORKQUAL project – sustainability in the production of pork with improved nutritional and eating quality using strategic feeding in outdoor production – was designed to address issues relating to pig performance, environmental effects, meat quality, meat safety, animal welfare, nutritional quality of products, and marketability of pork from sustainable outdoor pig production systems. The project handled these issues through seven workpackages involving 11 research groups from seven European countries.
    • Protein-bound veterinary drug residues in food

      O'Keeffe, Michael; Horne, Elizabeth; Cadogan, Aodhmar; Coyle, Tiernan; European Union; AIR2-CT93-0860 (Teagasc, 1999-03)
      Bound residues of veterinary drugs have been recognised as an important aspect of food safety particularly (a) where such residues may persist for long periods after withdrawal of the drug treatment and (b) where the bound residues may be released, during digestion of edible tissues, in biologically active forms. Residues bound to proteins are not extractable by the conventional solvent extraction procedures for residue determination. Procedures for the release of bound residues from proteins, identification of their chemical structure, and determination of the amount of bound residues in edible tissues are required.
    • The quality of under-utilised deep-water fish species

      Brennan, Martine H.; Gormley, Ronan T.; European Union; Marine Research Measure (Teagasc, 1999-09)
      The quality of twenty-three frozen under-utilised fish species was examined. The species were spot samples of deep-water fish caught near the Rockall Trough by the Fisheries Research Centre. Their basic composition was 80.8 - 86.4% water, 9.8 - 25.2% protein, 0.18 - 16.2% lipid and 0.7 - 2.0% ash. Lead, cadmium and mercury concentrations were determined for six species and were much lower than the maximum levels set in 1992. Ammonia levels were unacceptably high in three shark species.