Two yellow dyes, together with tartrazine (Y4), were found in cucumbers pickled in soy sauce, for which the use of tartrazine is permitted, by TLC, LC-DAD, and LC-MS. The retention times on LC chromatograms and the maximum absorbance wavelengths measured by LC-DAD of the two dyes were different from those of tartrazine. Mass spectra of the dyes indicated that these dyes lacked one sulfonyl group of tartrazine. The presence of two less sulfonated dyes in tartrazine has been reported. Hence, the two less sulfonated dyes were synthesized. The two dyes found in cucumbers were compared with the synthesized dyes by LC-DAD and LC-MS. Since the retention times of the dyes in cucumbers on the LC chromatograms, as well as their LC-DAD spectra and mass spectra, were found to be identical with those of the synthesized dyes, we concluded these dyes are the less sulfonated subsidiary dyes of tartrazine.
Kuwazuimo (Alocasia odora) and shimakuwazuimo (Alocasia cucullata) are evergreen perennial plants that originated in East Asia. Although inedible, they are occasionally eaten by mistake because they resemble satoimo (Colocasia esculenta), and this has caused food poisoning in Japan. It is not easy to determine the cause of a food poisoning outbreak from the shape or chemical composition when the available sample is small. Therefore, we developed a new primer pair for PCR to identify kuwazuimo and shimakuwazuimo in small samples, based on the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of ribosomal DNA. Using PCR with the developed primer pair, we detected all samples of kuwazuimo obtained from the market, while excluding 17 other kinds of crops. The samples were identified as shimakuwazuimo by DNA sequencing of the PCR products. The present PCR method showed high specificity and was confirmed to be applicable to the identification of kuwazuimo and shimakuwazuimo from various crops.
As a result of the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station (FDNPS) after the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, volatile radionuclides including iodine-131 were released into the environment and contaminated open-field vegetables, raw milk, tap water, etc. It is important for the health care of residents to correctly comprehend the level of their exposure to radioactive substances released following the accident. However, an evaluation of the internal exposure doses of residents of Fukushima Prefecture as a result of the ingestion of foods, which is indicated in the report issued by United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR)1 is based on a number of assumptions. For instance, the estimation assumes that foods were ingested as usual, without regard to the places to which residents were evacuated after the accident, the places where food shipment restrictions were imposed, and so forth. The present report aims to improve the accuracy of estimation of the amount of food actually ingested at evacuation areas, in order to reduce as much as possible the level of uncertainty in conventional values estimated directly after the accident, which were in fact values based on conservative assumptions. More concretely, as basic source material to more accurately estimate internal exposure doses from food ingestion, various patterns of evacuation and dietary habits at the time of the accident of the residents of 13 municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture who were evacuated during the period from directly after the accident of March 11, 2011 until the end of March are clarified in this report. From survey results, most of the food that evacuees took immediately after the accident was confirmed to have been sourced from either stockpiles prepared before the accident, or relief supplies from outside of the affected areas. The restriction orders of food supplies such as contaminated vegetables and milk, and tap water intake were implemented within several days after the major release of radionuclides on March 15, 2011. In addition, collapse in supply chains, i.e., damage to distribution facilities, lack of transportation vehicles or electricity, and the closure of retail stores, contributed to a situation where food or supplies contaminated with iodine -131 were not consumed in large quantities in general, even before the food restriction order. Since people consumed tap water and water from other sources before the implementation of restriction orders in affected areas, we surveyed the status of water as a potential route of internal exposure.
Histamine food poisoning is caused by ingestion of spoiled fish containing high levels of histamine. This paper reports cases in which histamine was detected in Osaka prefecture in fiscal year 2015 in a survey of fish and fishery products on the market and the food poisoning. A suspected case of histamine food poisoning was also evaluated to investigate the cause and minimize further problems. Histamine in food was separated on SPE cartridge columns, and analyzed after derivatization with fluorescamine by means of HPLC-FL. Histamine was detected in some fishery products on the market and in food that had caused poisoning. The samples in which histamine was detected were semi-dried whole round herring (Urumeiwashi-maruboshi), mackerel (Saba) and sardine dumpling (Iwashi-tsumire). These foods were the main causes of histamine food poisoning according to the report of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Government of Japan.
A survey of nitrate-ion concentrations in plant-factory-cultured leafy vegetables was conducted. 344 samples of twenty-one varieties of raw leafy vegetables were examined using HPLC. The nitrate-ion concentrations in plant-factory-cultured leafy vegetables were found to be LOD–6,800 mg/kg. Furthermore, the average concentration values varied among different leafy vegetables. The average values for plant-factory-cultured leafy vegetables were higher than those of open-cultured leafy vegetables reported in previous studies, such as the values listed in the Standard Tables of Food Composition in Japan- 2015 - (Seventh revised edition). For some plant-factory-cultured leafy vegetables, such as salad spinach, the average values were above the maximum permissible levels of nitrate concentration in EC No 1258/2011; however, even when these plant-factory-cultured vegetables were routinely eaten, the intake of nitrate ions in humans did not exceed the ADI.
A validation study was performed on the Japanese official method to determine several elements (B, Cr, Mn, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Cd, Ba, Pb) in mineral water simultaneously using ICP-MS. The trueness, repeatability and reproducibility of the method were estimated to be in the ranges of 95–106, 0.2–1.4 and 0.4–4.2%, respectively. The values of every performance parameter fulfilled the requirements in the guidelines announced by the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare of Japan, and the validity of the method was confirmed. The concentrations of the elements in mineral water products purchased from Japanese markets in 2013 and 2014 were surveyed using the method. All products met the specifications defined in the Japanese Food Sanitation Law. No clear relationship between the element concentrations and the survey year or the producing country was found.