The effect of heat treatments on food products related to soybean curd contaminated with Bacillus cereus spores was investigated for the purpose of preventing food-poisoning outbreaks by B. cereus. In the case of B. cereus strains isolated from foods, heating foods inoculated with the spores for 20 min at 70°C, 5 min at 75°C, 2 min at 100°C, or 10 sec with a microwave oven plus reheating after standing for 2 hr at 25°C reduced the number of surviving cells within the foods to less than one-hundredth. In the case of a heat-resistant strain isolated from a food poisoning outbreak, heating for 20 min at 70°C plus reheating after standing for 1.5-2 hr at 35°C, heating for 10 min at 75°C plus reheating after standing for 1.5-2 hr at 35°C, or heating for 2 min at 100°C plus reheating after standing for 4 hr at 25°C was effective. There was not much difference between the flavor components in foods with and without heat treatment at 70°C, as analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. These results indicate that these heat treatments are available to control B. cereus spores, without affecting the sensory quality of the foods.
A headspace GC/MS analysis method for the simultaneous determination of residual vinyl chloride (VC) and vinylidene chloride (VDC) in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC) products was developed. A test sample was swelled overnight with N,N-dimethylacetamide in a sealed vial. The vial was incubated for 1 hour at 90°C, then the headspace gas was analyzed by GC/MS using a PLOT capillary column. The recoveries from spiked PVC and PVDC samples were 90.0-112.3% for VC and 85.2-108.3% for VDC. The determination limits were 0.01 μg/g for VC and 0.06 μg/g for VDC, respectively. By this method, VC was detected in two PVC water supply pipes at the levels of 0.61 and 0.01 μg/g. On the other hand, VC and VDC were not detected in any of the food container-packages or toys tested.
The residual volatiles in recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) were analyzed using headspace/GC/MS. Recycled PET samples were made from PET bottles used for beverages, alcohol and soy sauce, and they were recycled in physical recycling plants, chemical recycling plants and superclean-like recycling trials. The physically recycled PET flakes contained small amounts of volatiles such as ethanol, limonene, 2-methyl-1,3-dioxolane, acetone, octanal and nonanal. Most of them originated from foods packed in bottles, and only 2-methyl-1,3-dioxolane was derived from polymer impurities. In contrast, the superclean-like or chemically recycled PET contained no detectable volatiles, like new PET pellets. The PET sheets shaped from physically recycled PET had no detectable volatiles. Not only the chemically and superclean-like recycled PET, but also the physically recycled PET contained no hazardous volatiles. It was concluded that there is no safety concern about volatiles in recycled PET, for the present use.
To investigate important factors affecting the reliability of the analytical results, proficiency tests were attempted for the histochemical method (GUS method) and the qualitative PCR method (PCR method) to detect genetically modified papaya (55-1) in the Japanease official method. The test samples were distributed to twenty-three laboratories that participated in the study and were examined according to the protocol. All the data collected from participating laboratories were statistically analyzed. In the PCR method, one negative sample was detected as positive using detection primers in one laboratory, though the sample was negative when checked using confirmation primers. Contamination might have occurred in the step of the preparation of the PCR sample solution using detection primers. In the GUS method, all the test samples were identified as expected. Thus, all the laboratories reported correct results overall.
Isophorone (ISP) is used widely as a solvent of natural and synthetic resins, wax, printing ink, pesticides and paints. In this study, the level of ISP in various foods (93 samples) was analyzed. ISP was collected from samples by steam distillation after the addition of an internal standard, deuterium-labeled ISP, then extracted with dichloromethane, cleaned up on a silica gel column, and determined by GC/MS. ISP was barely detected in fish, meat and vegetable samples, but it was detected in rice, wheat, beans and their processed products, miso, soy sauce and fermented soybeans (natto). The maximum level was 8.9 ng/g in miso. The packaging materials of the foods contained little ISP, and so the source of ISP in the foods could not be clarified.