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Conductimetry as an alternative data capture method for following microbial growth has a great potential as a research tool of predictive microbiology. In spite of this fact there is only a limited number of applications using conductimetric data for model generation. In this study the growth of single strains of Listeria monocytogenes and Lactococcus lactis was tested in 5 media using a RABITinstrument. The goal of the work was to find selective growth media for Listeria and Lactococcus, respectively, in order to study their interaction in mixed-culture using the conductimetric technique. Whitley Anaerobic broth, Whitley Impedance broth and modified Whitely Impedance broth (Whitley Impedance broth + Chloramphenicol 7 mg l &1) were not suitable for following selectively the growth of Lactococcus lactis or Listeria monocytogenes in a mixed culture of the two bacteria. BiMedia 630 A for Lactococcus lactis and Bimedia 403 A for Listeria monocytogenes satisfied the demands raised by conductance measurement. Linear correlations were established between the graphically estimated TTD values of the conductance curves and the logarithmic numbers of colony forming units (CFU). The correlations were very strong in each case (determination coefficients (R 2) of the linear regression were higher than 0.98 at both medium-strain combinations). However, in BiMedia 630 Listeria monocytogenes was capable of slow growth, therefore, this medium would be feasible for studying microbial interactions if only low concentrations of Listeria (less than 10 6 CFU ml &1) were present in the mixed culture.

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The effect of carbendazim, a widely applied cereal seed dressing agent, was studied in Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica)during an overall period of eight weeks, consisting of a four-week feeding phase and a subsequent four-week excretion period. Body mass and feed consumption of the birds were monitored and residues of the active ingredient were determined by an analytical chemical method. During the eight-week study period, changes (either decrease or increase) directly attributable to the toxic effects of carbendazim were not found either in body mass or in feed consumption. Active ingredient levels exceeding the limit of detection were found in the liver (average: 0.0262 mg/kg) and pectoral muscle (average: 0.0236 mg/kg) of the birds and also in the egg (0.0338 mg/kg) samples. From the results it can be concluded that through the consumption of cereal seeds dressed with carbendazim, this active ingredient can be incorporated into the tissues of animals. Via the food chain, carbendazim can also enter the human organism, where it may cause various pathological changes in interaction with other chemicals.

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Solar UV-B radiation is generally regarded as an environmental stress factor, causing harm to living organisms by damaging DNA, proteins, lipids and membranes. Increased UV-B radiation may affect plant life directly or indirectly, having an influence on photosynthesis and plant biomass. In many plants, including maize (which is one of the most important crops in the world), exposure to increased UV-B radiation causes the induction of UV-B absorbing compounds (e.g. flavonoids), which act as UV-B screens and reduce the dangerous levels and effects of this radiation in plant tissues and cells.This study aimed to reveal how Martonvásár maize inbred lines (bred under Central European environmental conditions) respond to increased UV-B radiation.

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Thirty-three varieties of dairy products were analysed for fat and cholesterol contents, and a high correlation (r=0.983) was found between these two compositional attributes. Cholesterol concentration was independent of processing factors such as heat-treatment of the raw material, use of starter culture, type of the starter organisms employed and whipping or flavouring of the product. The non-fat varieties of fluid, fermented and dried milks showed significantly increased cholesterol-to-fat ratios compared to the other products tested because they contained considerable amounts of small fat globules and, therefore, had a large surface area with cholesterol bound to the fat globule membranes. The results of this study may be useful when establishing dietary guidelines for the general public according to health concerns, when formulating diets for population groups with special requirements or when assessing fat and cholesterol intakes in epidemiological studies aimed at investigating the relationship between diet and health.

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From the age of 9 weeks, 90-90 Kolos, Gourmaud and Babati goose breeds were force fed with 2 different types of technology and 3 types of feedstuff. Force feeding technologies were the traditional Hungarian and Israeli soft groats quick methods. In the case of the latter, feedstuff was fed both in a pre-fermented (Lactobacillus plantarumlactic acid bacteria) form and without fermentation. Frequency of daily force feeding was gradually increased from 2 to 6 until the 21st day of force feeding. Live weight before and after fattening and liver weight were measured in the case of each breed and treatment. Liver quality was also determined. On the basis of our results, differences in liver weight average were significantly influenced only by the genetic property of the breed. Liver quality was also influenced by the method of force feeding of one breed (Babati). Feedstuff tested did not result in significant differences in liver weight or in liver quality. Independently of the breed very close correlation was found between „fattening weight” and liver weight (r=0.98) and between „fattening weight” and liver quality grade (r=–0.97).

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In order to improve the isolation rate of Rhodococcus equi from animals and soil, the efficacy of four previously described selective media (CAZ-NB, M3T, NANAT and TINSDALE) and that of four other media (NC, PNP, TCP and TVP) composed by us was compared and evaluated. Two selective plating media proved to be the best for the isolation of R. equi from contaminated samples. One of them was CAZ-NB containing ceftazidime, novobiocin and cycloheximide, while the other was the newly composed TCP containing trimethoprim, cefoperazone, polymyxin B, cycloheximide and potassium tellurite as selective components. These two media allowed the growth of at least 62-72% of R. equi present in the artificially contaminated samples, and the inhibition of unwanted contaminant bacteria and fungi was satisfactory with both media. TCP medium proved to be superior to CAZ-NB since the colony morphology of R. equi was much more characteristic (shiny, smooth, black colonies 3-5 mm in diameter) on it, and it inhibited the unwanted contaminant bacterial and fungal flora more effectively, especially in the case of faecal and soil samples. Therefore, TCP is recommended as a new, highly selective plating medium for the isolation of R. equi from contaminated samples.

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The effect of 10-day zearalenone administration starting 10 days after ovulation was studied in 6 cycling trotter mares in the summer period. After an entire oestrous cycle (Cycle 1), mares were given 7 mg purified zearalenone per os daily (1 mg/ml in ethyl alcohol) beginning on Day 10 of Cycle 2. Toxin exposure was continued until the subsequent ovulation. Luteal function and follicular activity were monitored daily by rectal palpation, ultrasonography and blood sampling for progesterone. During toxin exposure, all animals were in good physical condition. The toxin had no effect on the length of the interovulatory intervals, luteal and follicular phases. It did not influence significantly the plasma progesterone profiles (logistic curve parameters A1 to A6), the follicular activity (growth rate, maximum size of the ovulatory follicles, maximum number and the time of first increase in the number of large follicles) and the uterine oedema. It is concluded that in cyclic mares the methods used in this study could not detect any adverse effect of zearalenone (administered at a low dose similar to natural exposure) on reproduction.

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Acta Alimentaria
Authors: K. Régaiszné Vajda, A.A. Halbritter, P. Szűcs, J. Szigeti, and B. Ásványi

Sous-vide (French for ʽunder vacuum’) is a professional cooking method, by which, under oxygen-free conditions and precise temperature control, not only cooking but preservation is achieved. During the process the food matrix is vacuum-packed and undergoes a mild heat treatment, thus achieving an enhanced nutrition value and a better organoleptic character. Due to the mild heat treatment (55 to 90 °C), the high water activity, and the slight acidity of raw materials, the microbial quality assurance is a great challenge even for professionals. The heat treatment does not assure the inactivation of pathogen spores. In our experiments we used Clostridium perfringens representing the spore-forming pathogens, and Salmonella Enteritidis as a the food-borne infection bacterium. Effects of various temperatures were measured in normal and sous-vide type vacuum packaging. Higher thermal death rate in vacuum packaging was demonstrated for Salmonella Enteritidis and Clostridium perfringens.

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Acta Alimentaria
Authors: M. Szalai, J. Szigeti, L. Farkas, L. Varga, A. Réti, and E. Zukál

The shelf-lives of major commercial cooked meat products (i.e., Bologna sausage, Italian-type cooked sausage, and cooked ham) packaged under vacuum or modified atmospheres were tested in this study. Samples were taken from commercial meat processing lines, sliced to 1.2 mm thickness and placed overlapped into polypropylene trays sealed with plastic films. The headspace of modified atmosphere packaged formulations consisted of 30% CO2 and 70% N2 or 60% CO2 and 40% N2. The samples thus produced were stored under refrigerated conditions. The values of microbiological, chemical, physical or sensory properties were plotted against storage time, and Gompertz curves were fitted to all time series that changed from an initial to a final value during any period of storage. The influence of headspace CO2 concentration on the properties of sliced cooked meat products varied considerably and, therefore, it was not possible to specify general rules. However, the presence of CO2 in the packaging atmosphere slowed down the rate of microbial growth, thereby delaying the spoilage of meat products. A CO2 level of 60% had beneficial effects on both the microbiological and sensory properties of sliced sausages and cooked ham. It was concluded that cooked meat products packaged under modified atmospheres had a shelf-life of 20 days.

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