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  • Author or Editor: Csilla Mohácsi-Farkas x
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Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) is the most widely used thermal analytical technique in food research and it has a great utility in quality assurance of food. Proteins are the most studied food components by thermal analysis including studies on conformation changes of food proteins as affected by various environmental factors, thermal denaturation of tissue proteins, food enzymes and enzyme preparations for the food industry, as well as effects of various additives on their thermal properties. Freezing-induced denaturation of food proteins and the effect of cryoprotectants are also monitored by DSC. Polymer characterization based on DSC of polysaccharides, gelatinization behaviour of starches and interaction of starch with other food components can be determined, and phase transitions during baking processes can be studied by DSC. Studies on crystallization and melting behaviour of fats observed by DSC indicate changes in lipid composition or help characterizing products. Thermal oxidative decomposition of edible oils examined by DSC can be used for predicting oil stability. Using DSC in the freezing range has a great potential for measuring and modelling frozen food thermal properties, and to estimate the state of water in foods and food ingredients. Research in food microbiology utilizes DSC in better understanding thermoadaptive mechanisms or heat killing of food-borne microorganisms. Isothermic microcalorimetric techniques provide informative data regarding microbial growth and microbial metabolism.

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Micro-organisms can attach to food surfaces and develop biofilms which present a concern in food and environmental safety. The main goal of the current study was to investigate the biofilm formation of six non-pathogenic Listeria strains under different stress conditions using a microplate assay. The effect of the weak biofilm-forming non-pathogenic Listeria strains on the biofilm formation of a strong biofilm-forming pathogenic Listeria strain (Listeria monocytogenes #8) was also examined. Listeria innocua CCM4030, Listeria innocua 2885 and Listeria seeligeri/welshimeri 292 showed the same patterns of biofilm formation with increasing NaCl concentrations from 0.05 to 15%, but all the other strains showed a continuously decreasing trend of OD595 in the same conditions. This study showed that in the case of non-pathogenic Listeria strains, higher concentrations of NaCl do not present a stress condition that enhances biofilm formation. Decrease in pH inhibited biofilm formation for all the non-pathogenic Listeria strains. The weak biofilm forming non-pathogenic Listeria strains (Listeria innocua 2885 and Listeria innocua CCM4030) overgrew the strong biofilm-forming Listeria strain (Listeria monocytogenes #8) during biofilm formation. This phenomenon could be beneficial and potentially be used as a novel control strategy to prevent the colonization of the pathogenic Listeria at food processing facilities such as in meat industry.

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