Texture terms play an important role in food texture studies, especially in sensory evaluation. A well-organized texture lexicon assists researchers with sensory evaluation of texture. In this study, Japanese texture terms were collected, characterized, and classified in order to develop a texture lexicon. First, 445 texture terms in Japanese were collected from questionnaires to food scientists/technologists, literature searches, and interviews with experts. Next, foods associated with the 445 Japanese texture terms were collected and analyzed. The spatial configuration of the terms showed the structure of the Japanese texture vocabulary. The terms were then classified hierarchically by questionnaires and multivariate analyses. The classification in this study revealed some characteristics unique to the Japanese texture vocabulary, such as a wide variety of terms concerned with stickiness and elasticity. Additionally, the food texture vocabularies of Japanese consumers were investigated through questionnaires. The data showed that the recognition of some terms differed according to the gender, age and/or region of consumers. Some factors, such as eating experiences and dialect usage, could explain the reason behind these differences. The data obtained in this study can be applied to preliminary lexicon sources of descriptive sensory evaluation, and can provide useful clues to the understanding of Japanese texture terms.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) causes lethal infection in gallinaceous poultry such as chickens. HPAIV is generated when a nonpathogenic virus brought in by migratory birds from nesting lakes in the north is transmitted to chickens via domestic ducks, geese, quails, etc. and acquires pathogenicity for chickens with repeated multiple infections in the chicken population. Now H5N1 HPAIV has spread to 62 countries in Eurasia and Africa. H5N1 HPAIVs were isolated from dead water birds in Mongolia and Hokkaido, Japan on the way back to their nesting lakes in Siberia in April to May 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010. It is concerned that these HPAI viruses may perpetuate in the lakes where migratory water birds nest in summer. On 14th October in 2010, 2 H5N1 HPAIVs were isolated from fecal samples of ducks who flew from Siberia to Ohnuma Lake in Wakkanai, Hokkaido, Japan. Since then, 24 outbreaks of avian influenza due to infection with the H5N1 viruses closely related to the viruses isolated from fecal samples of ducks in Hokkaido in October 2010 have occurred in 9 different prefectures in Japan until the end of March 2011. The other serious concern is that 620 people have been infected with the H5N1 virus, 60% of whom died in 15 countries since 2004 (as of 15 February 2013). It is noted that most of the human cases (86%) are in China, Viet Nam, Indonesia, and Egypt where bird flu vaccines are used. It is strongly proposed to eradicate the H5N1 HPAIVs from Asia by stamping-out without misuse of vaccine through international collaboration under the umbrella of ”One World, One Health” concept.
The Japanese-specific eating habit of consuming raw eggs presents a risk of food poisoning. The most important health hazard associated with raw eggs is Salmonella Enteritidis (SE). This article summarizes the incidence and features of SE food poisoning, contamination factors in eggs, and countermeasures to reduce SE food poisoning from eating raw eggs in Japan.