In order to clarify the actual situation of indoor pollution to polished rice with organophosphorus flame retardants (PFRs) which are ubiquitous in the indoor environment, the pollution of PFRs to polished rice stored in a house for a week was investigated. The survey covered 64 ordinary families in the Osaka region. We analyzed six typical PFRs in 37 rice samples in 2015, and ten typical PFRs in 27 rice samples in 2016. Polished rice was homogenized with acetone–hexane and defatted by hexane–acetonitrile partition. Quantitative analysis for PFRs was performed by GC-FPD. The detection frequency of PFRs in the rice samples was 35/37 in 2015 and 27/27 in 2016. The highest values were 160 ng/g for TCEP, 500 ng/g for TCIPP and 430 ng/g for TBEP. The concentration ratio of each detected PFR in the polished rice samples was different in each house. In the analysis of 16 polished rice samples which were stored in the home, PFRs were detected in ten samples regardless of the storage methods. PFRs were detected from 12 out of 16 commercial brown rice samples. This result suggested that they were polluted during distribution and storage process of them.
Histamine in foods with a high histidine content may be produced by bacteria with histidine decarboxylase activity. Consumption of food enriched in histamine can produce symptoms of histamine poisoning that include flushing, headache, and urticaria. The number of histamine poisoning cases in Japan has decreased with developments in food hygiene management technology. However, approximately 10 cases are still reported each year. In addition, there have been cases where histamine was detected in the end products, prompting large product recalls. To prevent and identify causes of histamine toxicity, manufacturers must identify the bacteria causing the illness. A simple method of identification is needed, since sequence-based identification is complicated to perform and the analysis takes a long time. High-Resolution Melting Analysis (HRMA) is a method that detects differences in the base sequences of PCR products manifested as varied melting temperatures of double-stranded DNA. The present study was intended to develop a rapid identification method for major histamine-producing bacteria using HRMA. Species-specific HRMA primers were designed that specifically targeted the hdcA gene of 20 Gram-negative histamine-producing bacterial strains. The designed primers were used for HRM analysis of the 20 histamine-producing bacterial strains. The strains were divided into three groups (A, B, and C) based on differences in melting temperature values obtained by Tm Calling analysis program. Group A comprised terrestrial bacteria, such as Morganella, Enterobacter, and Raoultella, while Groups B and C comprised marine bacteria, such as those belonging to the genera Vibrio and Photobacterium. The melting profiles obtained in Group A by HRMA were used to identify the aforementioned terrestrial bacteria. The findings indicated that HRMA can easily identify the major gram-negative histamine-producing bacteria. A flow chart was created to identify histamine-producing bacterial species. This method enables the identification of histamine-producing bacterial species more quickly and easily than conventional sequence-based methods. Therefore, the method could be valuable for food companies to screen raw materials and products and track the source of contamination, which will in turn contribute to the prevention of histamine-food poisoning and investigation of its causes.
The three sweeteners, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, and sucralose, in chewing gum were determined by using dialysis and direct extraction methods. The results revealed that the previously reported dialysis method tended to show poor extraction of aspartame in comparison with the direct-extraction method. The direct extraction also caused operational problems, such as the gum base adhering to the instruments. Therefore, we attempted to improve the dialysis method by changing the dialysate, to which the three sweeteners were extracted while the sample stayed inside the dialysis tube. By changing the dialysate to 60% methanol and dialyzing for 24 hr at room temperature or 2 hr with shaking while heating at 50℃, all three sweeteners were extracted as good as those with the direct-extraction method.
Alkali-heat DNA extraction, a rapid and economical method, was evaluated for use in the detection of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in food using real-time PCR assays. Alkali-heat DNA extracts led to highly sensitive detection (102–104 CFU/mL) of stx and O-antigen genes in beef liver, ground beef, sliced pork, cheese, lettuce, radish sprouts, tomato, and spinach, equivalent to the sensitivity obtained using a commercial DNA extraction kit that utilizes proteinase K lysis, and silica membrane purification. Although there were differences in DNA concentration and purity between DNA extraction methods, the sensitivity of real-time PCR assays was similar. These results indicate that alkali-heat DNA extraction is a viable method when testing food products with real-time PCR assays for the presence of stx and O-antigen genes.