New regulations and rules are intended to reduce the incidence of food borne illness. There are quite a lot of rules and regs that generally cause marketers, growers, and processors to look to science for answers about how to provide the levels of safety and nutrition expected, as well as measurement of preference for certain foods. Because, as important as safety is, consumers want flavor, texture, and other organoleptic qualities.
Consumers Like Sweet, Aromatic Peaches and Nectarines Best
Consumers are catching on that fruits and vegetables are good for them, but this knowledge has failed to increase the amount of peaches and nectarines purchased. The consumption of these pit fruits hasn't moved from about 5.5 lb per annum since about 1980, and consumers blame lackluster flavor and chill damage for their reticence to shell out bucks for these fruits. In the article titled “Determining the Importance of Sensory and Instrumental Properties to Understanding Consumers’ Acceptance of Fresh Nectarines and Peaches”, the relationships among instrumental measurements (flesh firmness, ripe soluble solids concentration (RSSC), and ripe titratable acidity (RTA)), sensory panel descriptors, and consumer hedonic responses were studied. In these cultivars, RSSC was the only instrumental measurement significantly related to overall liking. Cultivars with medium acidity and/or flavor aroma were liked “very much,” and consumer willingness to pay more was correlated with overall liking without regard to the cultivar. Cluster analysis revealed 3 segments that were associated with ethnicity and consumer preferences within each segment. Sweetness was the main driver of liking for 2 consumer clusters; however, for the 3rd cluster, the perception of fruit aromas described as grassy/green fruit and pit aromas were the main drivers of liking. S605–S614
Antimicrobial Activity in Films May Enhance Shelf-life and Reduce Foodborne Illness
The authors of the paper “Antimicrobial Activity and Hydrophobicity of Edible Whey Protein Isolate Films Formulated with Nisin and/or Glucose Oxidase” found that the use of edible antimicrobial films may defeat foodborne illness by gradually releasing antimicrobial compounds to the food surface. This paper studied the efficacy of 2 antimicrobial agents, nisin (N), and/or glucose oxidase (GO), into the matrix of Whey protein isolate (WPI) films at pH 5.5 and 8.5. The antimicrobial activity of the edible films was evaluated against Listeria innocua (ATCC 33090), Brochothrix thermosphacta (NCIB10018), Escherichia coli (JMP101), and Enterococcus faecalis (MXVK22). The antimicrobial activity was related to the hydrophobicity and water solubility of the WPI films. The greatest antibacterial activity was observed in WPI films containing only GO. In this case, more wasn't better: the combined addition of N and GO resulted in films with lower antimicrobial activity than films with N or GO alone. These films may help retard postprocessing contamination of foods like sliced deli meats, precut veggies, and sliced cheese, and the bacteria were typical of those found on these sliced and precut foods. M560–M566