When the Spore Forming Bacteria is Advantageous?

The article entitled, “The advantages of spore forming bacteria is quite intriguing”. My college studies were telling me they were spoilage microorganisms, toxin producing and relatively hard to kill. Those characteristics are advantageous to microorganisms itself but not to manufacturers and consumers.

The spore forming bacteria a.k.a. the endospore forming bacteria are able to convert itself to a defensive dormant structure when the environment becomes unfavorable and wait until condition become conducive.

Bacterial endospore has several proteendospore property of cornell universityctive layers. 1) The outer proteinaceous coat – provides chemical enzymatic resistance. 2) Specialized peptidoglycan cortex – provides resistance to high temperature. 3) Germ cell wall – will become the bacterial cell wall when activates. 4) Inner membrane – barrier against harmful chemicals. 5) The central core in a very dehydrated state. 6) Small acid-soluble proteins (SASPs) which tightly bound and condensed the DNA enables UV resistance. Other bacterial spores may have stalks, toxin crystals and additional shell layers which add extra protection.

 

There are cases where bacterial endospore are advantageous not only to itself but to human too. A probiotic microorganism is one. Like the new ProDura strain of spore-forming probiotics by Nebraska Cultures. A strain of Bacillus coagulans that has great potential.  Its heat stability and extreme resilience make it suitable to undergo food processing conditions and later do its probiotic function once in human tummy.

source one, source two, image property of cornell university

 

Trying to Make A Calamansi Wine !

Previously, my friend and I worked at our alma mater. Our project was making and market testing of dragon fruit wine. One of our problem was the souring of wine. We did all the sanitation practices to prevent the entry of contaminant acetic acid bacteria. The bacteria strain is responsible for turning of good wine to vinegar. We did all we can but many of the batches still ended up souring. Maybe our best effort was not enough.

Lately, he found a reading material that addition of citric acid to must is not recommended. It can trigger the acidification process – making the wine taste like vinegar.

I guessed that was the culprit. We are adding citric acid to adjust the mixture acidity before fermentation. Tartaric acid use is advised. The same also explains why I never see any wine made of citrus family. Do you see one?

Now, I am going to test the calamansi wine.The main acid component of calamansi is citric acid – souring is expected.

Fermentation takes three to four weeks. Update will be publish after this period.

calamansi fruits in glass

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After over one and a half month, I got the two trials  and poured them carefully into two separate glasses. The trials tasted great. They taste like an expensive and high quality vinegar product. I tried to make wine and not vinegar!

wine in glasses

Bacterial Causes of Meat Food Poisoning

left over meat

Salmonella are the best known and most feared type of bacteria. They can lead to a great number of food poisonings such as vomiting, diarrhoea, typhoid fever. It belong to the Enterobacteriaceae family. Heating to a temperature of 68°C will kill salmonella bacteria reliably; storage temperatures of below 4°C inhibit their growth. Have been primarily being identified in pork and poultry meat.

Escherichia coli generally helps in digest but some bad strains causes bad bad stomach cramps and belly pain, vomiting, diarrhea, sometimes with blood in it.

left over meat

Listeria monocytogenes is a Gram-positive bacterium. Its the cause of the disease Listeriosis.

Listeriosis is clinically defined when the organism is isolated from blood, cerebrospinal fluid, or an otherwise normally sterile site (e.g. placenta, fetus).

The manifestations of listeriosis include septicemia, meningitis (or meningoencephalitis), encephalitis, and intrauterine or cervical infections in pregnant women, which may result in spontaneous abortion (2nd/3rd trimester) or stillbirth. The onset of the aforementioned disorders is usually preceded by influenza-like symptoms including persistent fever. It was reported that gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may precede more serious forms of listeriosis or may be the only symptoms expressed. Gastrointestinal symptoms were epidemiologically associated with use of antacids or cimetidine. The onset time to serious forms of listeriosis is unknown but may range from a few days to three weeks. The onset time to gastrointestinal symptoms is unknown but is probably greater than 12 hours.

Proper Milk Handling

evaporated-milk

Milk is sterile when synthesized under cow’s mammary gland.  Definitely it is healthy without the harmful microorganisms. But spoilage yeasts, bacteria and molds starts to invade as soon as the milk is squeezed out.

Bacteria is the predominant spoilage organisms in milk . Milk is rich in proteins which is the main food of bacteria. A freshly harvested cow’s milk is most likely undrinkable a day after under ambient conditions. Certain diseases can be acquired from drinking spoiled milk alone. That’s why precautions are necessary when handling your milk.

When purchasing canned milk. Check carefully the expiration date. It is usually written on top or bottom of can. Some merchants still sell expired goods. Be very careful. Report those abusive merchants to authorities like Bureau of Food and Drugs, Department of Health or to your nearest police station.

Read the label for additional handling instruction.  Label also provide information about the manufacturer. You can check if they are registered under Bureau of Foods and Drugs. Approval of regulatory authorities may guarantee milk safety. Those manufacturers complies with Good Manufacturing Practices and HACCP.

Also avoid bulged and dent cans. Under favorable conditions , bacteria will grow inside canned goods. They produced gas which cause the can to dent or bulge. Any discoloration and abnormal odor are signs of spoilage.

Transfer unconsumed milk into tightly sealed sterile bottle and store in refrigerator. This will prevent bacterial contamination and growth. Refrigeration extends  shelf-life for a couple of days.

Use tightly sealed jar as container for powdered milk. Store in dry place away from excessive moisture.  Excess moisture causes powdered milk to cake, clumping and hardening.

Consume fresh milk immediately. Remaining milk maybe stored in refrigerator for a day or two. To prevent spoilage of unconsumed milk. It may be processed into soft white cheese or kesong puti.

You ? How do you handle your milk ?

evaporated-milk

Health Benefits of Garlic Chips

garlic-chips

garlic-chips

Garlic has many health benefits . But most of us cannot eat garlic in pure form. One way to enjoy and rip the benefits of garlic is to eat garlic chips.

Health Benefits of Garlic

Garlic, one of the most essential ingredients in the kitchen, does more than provide rich flavor to your favorite dishes. It is considered as one of the healthiest foods that you can eat. Garlic is known to provide numerous health benefits and is said to cure a lot of body ailments. Here are some of the goods things that you can get from eating garlic:

  • Improves cardiovascular health and lower cholesterol levels

Have you ever noticed that people who eat lots of garlic have lower incidences of cardiovascular disease? People in Asia and the Far East use garlic regularly in their food and they happen to enjoy great cardiovascular health. Garlic is proven to lower the amount of bad cholesterol in the body.

  • It serves as a natural antioxidant

Garlic contains allicin, an ingredient which increases the amount of enzymes and glutathione peroxidase in your blood. Garlic can also slow down the aging of the liver and help combat the harmful effects of nicotine.

  • It fights off bacteria

It was during the 19th century that the anti-bacterial properties of garlic were discovered. Garlic contains some of the potency found in penicillin which can help fight certain bacteria such as Salmonella, Listeria, E.coli and Candida albican.

  • Can help reduce blood clotting

Studies have revealed that garlic can actually help reduce blood pressure. People who took garlic supplements had their blood pressure lowered around 1% to 5%. This can help lessen the chances of stroke and heart diseases.

  • It can control acne

On its own, garlic has not yet been proven to prevent acne but some studies show that it can be combined with other ingredients to produce an effective anti-acne treatment.

When eating garlic, it is best to crush it or chop it up. This will release the active compounds which produce the health benefits mentioned above.

How to Prevent Salmonella Infection from Eggs

salmonella-in-eggs

Sometimes,  when buying egg, salmonella comes free in package.

Salmonella enteritidis.  A bacteria that can be found in eggs, meat and undercooked foods. It can cause salmonella  poisoning or salmonellosis to the people that have ingested it. The symptoms consist of a  fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea starting at about 12-72 hours after eating the contaminated food. The symptoms can last up to 4-7 days depending on the person and the severity. Most people are able to recover from salmonella poisoning with certain antibiotic treatments, but some can be hospitalized if symptoms worsen.

salmonella-in-eggs

The bacteria enters the egg through hens’ ovaries and infects the eggs even before the shells are formed. Eggs with Salmonella look and taste entirely normal, and it is very difficult to tell which eggs are infected. It is also difficult to know how many eggs are infected.

Ways to prevent infection:

1) Keep eggs refrigerated.

2) Discard cracked or dirty eggs.

3) Care must be taken to avoid the egg shell becoming contaminated with fecal matter

4) Wash hands after handling eggs. Salmonella enteriditis can live inside and outside the egg.

5) Keep eggs separated from other foods in the fridge, clean any working surfaces, containers and utensils that come in contact with or their packaging. Salmonella can pass to and contaminate surfaces that eggs come into contact with.

6) Cook eggs and egg dishes thoroughly to kill salmonella. As long as the egg is not eaten raw, the chances of a person contracting salmonella is very small.

7) Buy from trusted sources.

photo courtesy of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.