Navigation Links
Electron-beam pasteurization of raw oysters may reduce viral food poisoning
Date:4/30/2013

COLLEGE STATION According to the Centers for Disease Control, about one in six Americans gets food poisoning each year. Additionally, virus infection risks from consumption of raw oysters in the U.S. are estimated to cost around $200 million a year.

To address the issue of health risk from eating raw oysters, Texas A&M University graduate student Chandni Praveen, along with Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist Dr. Suresh Pillai and a team of researchers from other agencies and institutions, studied how electron-beam pasteurization of raw oysters may reduce the possibility of food poisoning through virus.

Other entities involved in the study included the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and University of Texas School of Public Health-El Paso regional campus.

The results of this study will be published in the June issue of the leading microbiology journal, Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

"The study was performed using a human norovirus surrogate called murine norovirus (NoV), and a hepatitis A (HAV) virus along with advanced quantitative microbial risk assessment tools," explained Pillai, professor of microbiology and director of the National Center for Electron Beam Research at Texas A&M University. "A salient feature of e-beam pasteurization technology is that it uses commercial electricity to generate the ionizing radiation that inactivates the viruses. It is a green technology because no chemicals are involved."

Pillai said the FDA already has approved the use of electron beam technology as a pathogen intervention strategy to control the naturally occurring Vibrio vulnificus bacterial pathogen in shellfish.

According to the FDA, raw oysters contaminated with Vibrio vulnificus can be life threatening or even fatal when eaten by someone with liver disease, diabetes or a weakened immune system.

"We're all for any means of technology that enhances the safety of our product," said Sal Sunseri, co-owner of P&J Oysters and a representative of the Louisiana Oyster Dealers and Growers Association. "While we provide a safe product, we know there are at-risk groups, and that processing methods like freezing, high-pressure treatment and electron-beam irradiation reduce or eliminate the risk for those groups and enhance the overall safety of our product."

At this time, however, electron-beam technology is not being used for commercial oysters sold in the U.S.

"For the study, we chose the norovirus and hepatitis A virus, as these are pathogenic threats to those consuming shellfish, and chose oysters as they are a type of mollusk that's more commonly eaten raw," said Praveen, a doctoral candidate in the toxicology program of the Food Safety and Environmental Microbiology Laboratory at Texas A&M.

Praveen said she and the other researchers also chose the viral pathogens as opposed to bacterial as they were more difficult to treat and also require a host species.

"Bivalves such as oysters are also filter feeders that obtain their food by pumping water through their system and filtering small organisms," she said. "This can lead to the possible accumulation of NoV and HAV viral pathogens, as well as bacterial pathogens."

Pillai said non-thermal food processing technologies are needed to reduce these infection risks.

"This is the first study that has attempted to quantify the reduction in infection risks of raw oysters contaminated with different levels of virus when pasteurized at FDA-approved doses," he said.

Pillai said that the study showed if a serving size of 12 raw oysters were contaminated with approximately 100 hepatitis A and human noroviruses, an e-beam dose of 5 kGy (kilograys) would achieve a 91 percent reduction of hepatitis A infection risks and a 26 percent reduction of norovirus infection risks. A kilogray is a unit of absorbed energy from ionizing radiation.

Pillai said the study showed that if electron-beam pasteurization technology was included as part of a comprehensive food safety plan to reduce illnesses from raw oysters, significant public health benefits and, by extension, significant savings in medical and related expenses due to foodborne illness, can occur.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Suresh Pillai
s-pillai@tamu.edu
979-458-1640
Texas A&M AgriLife Communications
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. This month in ecology: Oysters, big rivers, biofuels
2. Soy-based S-equol supplement reduces metabolic syndrome risk factors
3. Minimally invasive treatment for ruptured aneurysm: Safe, reduces mortality
4. ONR taps research teams to help reduce jet noise
5. Nanocrystal-coated fibers might reduce wasted energy
6. Autologous bone marrow-derived mononuclear cell transplants can reduce diabetic amputations
7. University of Minnesota startup offers game-changing energy solutions that reduce CO2 emissions
8. Tax on salt could reduce cardiovascular disease deaths by 3 percent
9. How the ecological risks of extended bioenergy production can be reduced
10. Laparoscopy reduces the risk of small-bowel obstruction
11. Researchers show prebiotic can reduce severity of colitis
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/1/2016)... -- Favorable Government Initiatives Coupled With Implementation ... to Boost Global Biometrics System Market Through 2021  ... " Global Biometrics Market By Type, By End ... - 2021", the global biometrics market is projected to ... growing security concerns across various end use sectors such ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... , May 20, 2016  VoiceIt is ... partnership with VoicePass. By working together, ... experience.  Because VoiceIt and VoicePass take slightly different ... engines increases both security and usability. ... excitement about this new partnership. "This ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... WearablesResearch.com , a brand of Troubadour Research & ... Q1 wave of its quarterly wearables survey. A particular ... a program where they would receive discounts for sharing ... "We were surprised to see that so many ... CEO of Troubadour Research, "primarily because there are segments ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital ... Sports Association to serve as their official health ... Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic training ... association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... Sports Association and to bring Houston Methodist quality ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... SAN FRANCISCO , June 23, 2016   ... it has secured $1 million in debt financing from ... to ramp up automation and to advance its drug ... for its new facility. "SVB has been ... goes beyond the services a traditional bank would provide," ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, ... 1 clinical trials of its complement C3 inhibitor, ... and multiple ascending dose studies designed to assess ... of subcutaneous injection in healthy adult volunteers. ... either as a single dose (ranging from 45 ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ClinCapture, ... Pennsylvania Convention Center and will showcase its product’s latest features from June 26 ... presenting a scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: