Uncovering the dormant food hazards, a review of foodborne microbial spores' detection and inactivation methods with emphasis on their application in the food industry

Funding Sponsor

Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung

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Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Trends in Food Science and Technology

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Background: Spores are dormant structures that are widespread in various foodstuffs leading to food spoilage or foodborne illness. Many attempts have been made to eliminate and minimize spores in food with though inactivation processes not always efficient. To overcome the limitations of inactivation procedures, detection methods for spores are warranted to avoid its hazards. Scope and approach: In this study, we present a comprehensive state of the art review on the various inactivation procedures i.e., radiation, heat, chemical, and sporicidal agents or combined technologies with a focus on their advantages and limitations. Finally, a review of the different detection methods including molecular, microscopic, spectroscopic, biosensors, and immunoassays is presented highlighting their applications in the food industry. Conclusions: In conclusion, providing such state-of-the-art comparison of the various technologies for spore detection and inactivation shall aid food microbiologists and quality control specialists to choose the most suited one for spore's prevention in different food matrices. Combining two or more detection techniques appears to enhance the sensitivity or to overcome some drawbacks and limitations within each method.

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