A Cured Meat Guide for Everyone
Since the first report of the induction of liver cancer in rats fed dimethylnitrosamine (71), more than 80 different nitroso compounds have been identified as cancer-causing agents. The formation of nitrosamines results from the reaction of secondary amines with nitrite at acid pH. Nitrite is commonly added to cured meat and fish, and nitroso compounds have been measured in these foods (72).
(a) Japanese katsuobushi This is made from fish and used for seasoning. A. glaucus is involved in the fermentation (Graikoski 1973) (b) Cambodian Phaak or Mamchas This is a fermented paste produced from eviscerated salted fish. Glutinous rice pretreated with yeast is also added to the fish (Padmaja and George 1999) (c) Vietnamese Nuoc-mam This is a brown liquid produced by fermentation of small marine or fresh water fish that are placed in earthenware vessels buried in the ground for several months. Bacteria and yeasts contribute to proteolysis and flavor. Enzymes from A. oryzae can be used for reduced fermentation time to increase yield of nuoc-mam (Richard 1959).
Thermal processing is one of the conventional preservation methods which assures processed foods to be safe and shelf-stable. The origin of commercial thermal processing dates back to 1809 when the Frenchman Nicholas Appert was awarded a prize by the French government for developing a new and successful means of preserving foods, a method that eventually became known as 'canning'. Appert found a new and effective way to preserve food, but did not understand why it prevented food spoilage. In 1864, Louis Pasteur, another Frenchman, explained that the heating process killed (or inactivated) the microorganisms which limited the shelf-life of foods. This laid the foundation for advances in canning methods that eventually revolutionized the industry. In the 1890s, Prescott and Underwood established the relationship between thermophilic bacteria and the spoilage of canned corn. At about the same time, the same type of spoilage was discovered in canned peas by Russell in Wisconsin and Barlow...
The level of a single growth-limiting factor that will inhibit a microorganism is usually determined under conditions in which all other factors are optimum. In preserving foods more that one factor is usually relied upon to control microbial growth. Addition of a substance, which in itself does not give full inhibition, can effectively preserve products in the presence of other subinhibitory factors. The effect of superimposing limiting factors is known as the hurdles concept (Leistner 1999).
Relevance of phenolic antioxidants for functional food and comparative metabolic biology considerations
Sources have a history of use in food preservation, however, many increasingly have therapeutic and disease prevention applications (69-72). Therefore, understanding the nutritional and the disease protective role of dietary phytochemicals and particularly phenolic antioxidants is an important scientific agenda well into the foreseeable future (73). This disease protective role pf phytochemicals is becoming more significant at a time when the importance of in the prevention of oxidation linked chronic diseases is gaining rapid recognition globally. Therefore, disease prevention and management through the diet can be considered an effective tool to improve health and reduce the increasing health care costs for these oxidation linked chronic diseases, especially in low income countries.
Lysozyme (muramidase, EC 126.96.36.199), an enzyme which causes lysis of certain bacteria by hydrolyzing cell wall polysaccharides, is widely distributed in animal tissues and secretions. Some bacteria and bacter-iophage secrete similar enzymes, lysins. Egg white is a particularly rich source of lysozyme, which is the best characterized of these enzymes. The molecular and biological properties of lysozyme and its use in food preservation and as a pharmaceutical have been comprehensively reviewed by Proctor and Cunningham (99) and Cunningham et al. (100).
Nasopharyngeal cancer, an undifferentiated epithelial cancer of the nasopharynx, is common in southern China, Hong Kong and amongst the Chinese in South-East Asia. EBV DNA can be detected in most tumour samples. Its restricted geographical distribution again indicates the importance of cofactors which are believed to be related to smoking and a diet of salt-cured fish and preserved meats rich in nitrosamines.
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