• 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.
    • A quantitative risk assessment of E.coli 0157:H7 in Irish minced beef

      Duffy, Geraldine; O'Brien, Stephen; Carney, Eimear; Butler, Francis; Cummins, Enda; Nally, Padraig; Mahon, Denise; Henchion, Maeve; Cowan, Cathal (Teagasc, 2005-02)
      A national quantitative risk assessment was undertaken for minced beef in the Republic of Ireland. The objective was to estimate the probability of E. coli O157:H7 infection from consumption of Irish beef and to investigate the parts of the beef chain contributing most to the risk posed by this pathogen.The quantitative risk assessment was broken into 3 main modules: 1) production of boxed beef trimmings; 2) processing of trimmings and burger formation and 3) retail/domestic consumption phase. Key points in each module (beef hide, beef trimmings and beef products at retail) were validated using data derived from microbiology sampling at beef abattoirs, supermarkets and butchers’ shops in Ireland.
    • Rapid control systems for veterinary drug residues in food producing animals

      O'Keeffe, Michael; European Union; SMT4 - CT96 - 2092 (Teagasc, 2002-10)
      The aim was to develop rapid systems which could be used to test for the presence of veterinary drug residues in food producing animals. Body fluid samples are most suitable for rapid testing systems so as to avoid the lengthy residue extraction procedures required for tissue samples. Urine was analysed for sulphamethazine, a licensed antimicrobial, and for chlorotestosterone, a prohibited growth promoting agent, as models to demonstrate the different approaches.
    • Rapid cooling of cooked meat joints

      Kenny, Tony; Desmond, Eoin; Ward, Patrick; Sun, Da-Wen (Teagasc, 2002-02)
      Conventional cooling by air-blast or even by immersion in liquid is unlikely to achieve recommended cooling rates when dealing with joints weighing 5kg or more because meat has a low thermal conductivity. The objective was to investigate vacuum cooling as a technique for rapid chilling of cooked meat joints. In vacuum cooling, the food is enclosed in a chamber and reduction of the pressure to about 7 mbar causes evaporation of water from the surface of the food and from cavities in the food. The energy required to evaporate the water is extracted from the food, resulting in rapid chilling
    • Recovery and identification of emerging Campylobacteraceae from food

      Duffy, Geraldine; Cagney, Claire; Lynch, Orla; Downey, Gerard (Teagasc, 01/02/2007)
      The family Campylobacteraceae includes 23 different species of Campylobacter and Arcobacter.To date, clinical and epidemiological interest has focused almost exclusively on just two of these species, C. jejuni and C. coli. Current routine examination methods for both clinical and food samples look exclusively for these two species. Recent clinical research indicates that some of the other, previously ignored Campylobacter species may be linked to human infection. The focus of this research was to develop a routine procedure which would allow recovery of all 23 species of Campylobacteraceae from food samples.
    • Reducing the incidence of boar taint in Irish pigs

      Allen, Paul; Joseph, Robin; Lynch, Brendan (Teagasc, 2001-04)
      Boar taint is an unpleasant odour that is released during cooking from some pork and products made from the meat and fat of non-castrated male pigs. Only a proportion of boars produce this odour and not all consumers are sensitive to it. Nevertheless it is a potential problem for the industry since an unpleasant experience can mean that a sensitive consumer may not purchase pork or pork products again. Some European countries are very concerned about this problem and most castrate all the male pigs not required for breeding. Irish pig producers ceased castration more than 20 years ago because boars are more efficient converters of feed into lean meat and a research study had shown that boar taint was not a problem at the carcass weights used in this country at that time.
    • Relating starch properties to boiled potato texture

      Gormley, Ronan T.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Teagasc, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, 1998-08)
      Basic information on starch properties may help to explain the different textural characteristics of potato cultivars, and also their suitability for different forms of processing. The study involved tests on both raw potatoes, and on starch separated from potatoes, and embraced three main activities: (i) to relate boiled-potato texture with the other test variables; (ii) to develop a rapid crush-test for assessing cooked-potato texture; (iii) to study the effect of chilling and freezing on the development of resistant starch (RS) in boiled potatoes.
    • A risk assessment and hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) study for the Irish catering industry

      Bolton, Declan J.; Meally, Aisling; Downey, Gerard; Safefood (Teagasc, 2007-02)
      This report provides details of a food safety knowledge survey, a microbiological survey, a chilled temperature survey and an audit conducted in 200 restaurants throughout the island of Ireland. The results suggest a low incidence of several bacterial pathogens (including Salmonella enterica) and identify areas in which food safety knowledge, procedures and practices should be improved. Salmonella enterica isolates were characterised and the results suggested distinct pockets of different serotypes. Growth curves for L. monocytogenes isolates suggest considerably reduced shelf-life for a variety of foods. For example, lettuce should not be stored at room temperature or the shelf-life is reduced from 6.5 days (chilled storage) to 3.3 days.The predicted shelf-life for fresh milk was 4.5 days (chilled storage). Chlorine (sodium hypochlorite, 5 ppm), 1-monolauroyl-rac-glycerol and a laurate ester (ester-glucoside laurate) were also tested for application as vegetable decontaminating agents in restaurant kitchens. The report concludes with recommendations for improved food safety and hygiene in Irish restaurants.
    • A Risk Assessment and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Study for the Irish Catering Industry

      Bolton, Declan J.; Meally, Aisling; Downey, Gerard; Safefood (Teagasc, 01/02/2007)
      This report provides details of a food safety knowledge survey, a microbiological survey, a chilled temperature survey and an audit conducted in 200 restaurants throughout the island of Ireland. The results suggest a low incidence of several bacterial pathogens (including Salmonella enterica) and identify areas in which food safety knowledge, procedures and practices should be improved. Salmonella enterica isolates were characterised and the results suggested distinct pockets of different serotypes. Growth curves for L. monocytogenes isolates suggest considerably reduced shelf-life for a variety of foods. For example, lettuce should not be stored at room temperature or the shelf-life is reduced from 6.5 days (chilled storage) to 3.3 days.The predicted shelf-life for fresh milk was 4.5 days (chilled storage). Chlorine (sodium hypochlorite, 5 ppm), 1-monolauroyl-rac-glycerol and a laurate ester (ester-glucoside laurate) were also tested for application as vegetable decontaminating agents in restaurant kitchens. The report concludes with recommendations for improved food safety and hygiene in Irish restaurants.
    • Risk-based determination of critical control points for pork slaughter

      Bolton, Declan J.; Pearce, Rachel; Sheridan, James J.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland (Teagasc, 2002-05)
      To identify the critical control points (CCPs) during commercial pork slaughter, 60 pigs in a small abattoir (80 pigs per day) and a similar number in a larger plant (2000 pigs per day) and/or their resultant carcasses were swabbed at the ham, belly and neck. The total bacterial contamination was determined after each stage from the live pigs on the farm to chilling of the carcasses in the abattoir.
    • Role of Lactobacilli in Flavour Development of Cheddar Cheese.

      Beresford, Tom; Cogan, Tim; Rea, Mary C.; Drinan, Finbarr; Fitzsimons, Nora; Brennan, N.; Kenny, Owen; Fox, P.F. (Teagasc, 2001-05-01)
      Cheddar cheese is a complex microbial ecosystem. The internal cheese environment, in particular of hard and semi-hard cheeses, is not conducive to the growth of many microorganisms. At the beginning of ripening the dominant microorganisms are the starter bacteria which are present at high levels (~109/g). However, during ripening, non-starter lactic acid bacteria (NSLAB) grow from relatively low levels (<103/g) at the beginning of ripening, to 108/g within 6 - 8 weeks. Other bacteria, e.g. enterococci and staphylococci, may also be present but in much lower numbers. In a previous study of mature and extra mature Cheddar cheeses from different manufacturers (see End of Project Report No. 1), it was found that the NSLAB population was dominated by strains of Lb. paracasei. However, their contribution to cheese flavour and their source(s) are still unclear, nor is it known if the NSLAB flora is unique to each plant. Hence, understanding the growth of this group of organisms in cheese is a key to defining their role in flavour development. The biochemistry of flavour development in cheese is poorly understood. For most cheese varieties, including Cheddar, proteolysis, which results in the accumulation of free amino acids, is of vital importance for flavour development. Increasing evidence suggests that the main contribution of amino acids is as substrates for the development of more complex flavour and aroma compounds. The manner by which such compounds are generated in cheese is currently the focus of much research. Starter bacteria have been shown to contain a range of enzymes capable of facilitating the conversion of amino acids to potential flavour compounds. However, the potential of lactobacilli (NSLAB) to produce similar enzymes has only recently been investigated. Hence, although, it is generally accepted that the cheese starter flora is the primary defining influence on flavour development, the contribution of NSLAB is also considered significant. The objectives of these studies were: - to develop a greater understanding of the behaviour of NSLAB in cheese, and - to identify suitable strains, and other cheese bacteria, to be used as starter adjuncts for flavour improvement.
    • Routine diagnostic tests for food-borne pathogens

      Duffy, Geraldine; Kilbride, Brendan; Fitzmaurice, Justine; Sheridan, James J. (Teagasc, 2001-01)
      Rapid techniques were developed and applied to the determination of total viable bacteria and to the detection of food borne pathogens (Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, Campylobacter jejuni and E. coli O157:H7). The method developed for total viable counts is based on membrane filtration and fluorescent staining and the technique can be performed and a result obtained within 20 min. The results correlate well with the standard plate count and the technique is now being implemented in Irish food factories.