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Food Safety and Quality Control: Hints from Proteomics

Angelo D'Alessandro and Lello Zolla*


Department of Ecological and Biological Sciences, DEB, Tuscia University, IT-01100 Viterbo, Italy

Article history:

Received January 13, 2012
Accepted February 20, 2012

Key words:

proteomics, quality control, food safety, nutraceuticals

Summary:

Over the last decade, proteomics has been successfully applied to the study of quality control in production processes of food (including meat, wine and beer, transgenic plants and milk) and food safety (screening for food-derived pathogens). Indeed, food quality and safety and their influence on the health of end consumers have growingly become a founding principle in the international agenda of health organizations. The application of proteomics in food science was at first characterized by exploratory analyses of food of various origin (bovine, swine, chicken or lamb meat, but also transgenic food such as genetically modified maize, for example) and beverages (beer, wine), in parallel to the genomic and transcriptomic approaches seeking determination of quantitative trait loci. In the last few years, technical improvements such as microbial biotyping strategies have growingly allowed proteomicists to address the safety issue as well. The newly introduced technical improvements (instrumentation characterized by higher sensitivity such as mass spectrometers) have paved the way for the individuation of food-contaminating pathogens in a fast and efficient workflow which is mandatory in industrial food production chains.

 


*Corresponding author:           zolla@unitus.it
                                               ++39 0761 357 100
                                               ++39 0761 357 630

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