Export file:

Format

  • RIS(for EndNote,Reference Manager,ProCite)
  • BibTex
  • Text

Content

  • Citation Only
  • Citation and Abstract

Hygienic quality of dehydrated aromatic herbs marketed in Southern Portugal

1 Universidade do Algarve, Instituto Superior de Engenharia, Campus da Penha, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
2 Universidade do Algarve, Centre for Mediterranean Bioresources and Food (MeditBio), Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal

Topical Sections: Food microbiology and food safety

Dehydrated aromatic herbs are highly valued ingredients, widely used at home level and by food processing industry, frequently added to a great number of recipes in the Mediterranean countries. Despite being considered low-moisture products and classified as GRAS, during pre and post-harvesting stages of production they are susceptible of microbial contamination. In Europe an increasing number of food recalls and disease outbreaks associated with dehydrated herbs have been reported in recent years. In this study the microbial quality of 99 samples of aromatic herbs (bay leaves, basil, coriander, oregano, parsley, Provence herbs, rosemary and thyme) collected from retails shops in the region of Algarve (Southern Portugal) was assessed. All the samples were tested by conventional methods and were assayed for the total count of aerobic mesophilic microorganisms, Salmonella spp., Escherichia coli, coagulase-positive staphylococci and filamentous fungi. Almost 50 % of the herbs did not exceed the aerobic mesophilic level of 104 CFU/g. The fungi count regarded as unacceptable (106 CFU/g) was not found in any of the tested herbs, while 84 % of the samples ranged from ≤102 to 104 CFU/g. No sample was positive for the presence of Salmonella spp., Escherichia coli and staphylococci. The results are in compliance with the European Commission criteria although they point out to the permanent need of surveillance on the good standards of handling/cooking practices as well as the importance of avoiding contamination at production, retailing and distribution. The microbiological hazards associated with the pathogenic and toxigenic microbiota of dried herbs remain as a relevant public health issue, due to the fact that they are added to foods not submitted to any following lethal procedure. Control measures should be adopted in order to ensure that all phases of their supply chain respect the food safety standards.
  Figure/Table
  Supplementary
  Article Metrics

Keywords microbial quality; aromatic dried herbs; low moisture foods; foodborne pathogens; total count of microorganisms

Citation: Jessie Melo, Chaiane Quevedo, Ana Graça, Célia Quintas. Hygienic quality of dehydrated aromatic herbs marketed in Southern Portugal. AIMS Agriculture and Food, 2020, 5(1): 46-53. doi: 10.3934/agrfood.2020.1.46

References

  • 1. Szücs V, Szabó E, Lakner Z, et al. (2018) National seasoning practices and factors affecting the herb and spice consumption in Europe. Food Control 83: 147-156.    
  • 2. Kaefer CM, Milner JA (2008) The role of herbs and spices in cancer prevention. J Nutr Biochem 19: 347-361.    
  • 3. Opara EI, Chohan M (2014) Culinary herbs and spices: Their bioactive properties, the contribution of polyphenols and the challenges in deducing their true health benefits. Int J Mol Sci 15: 19183-19202.    
  • 4. Minarovicová J, Cabicarová T, Kaclíková E, et al. (2018) Culture-independent quantification of pathogenic bacteria in spices and herbs using real-time polymerase chain reaction. Food Control 83: 85-89.    
  • 5. Bechaut LR, Komitopoulou E, Beckers H, et al. (2013) Low-water activity foods: Increased concern as vehicles of foodborne pathogens. J Food Protec 76: 150-172.    
  • 6. Garbowska M, Berthold-Pluta A, Stasiak-Rózanska J (2015) Microbiological quality of selected spices and herbs including the presence of Cronobacter spp. Food Microbiol 49: 1-5.    
  • 7. Berthold-Pluta A, Pluta A, Garbowska M, et al. (2019) Prevalence and toxicity of Bacillus cereus in food products from Poland. Foods 8: 269, 1-12.
  • 8. Van Doren JM, Neil K, Parish M, et al. (2013) Foodborne illness outbreaks from microbial contaminants in spices, 1973-2010. Food Microbiol 36: 456-464.    
  • 9. European Food Safety Authority & European Centre for Disease CPrevention and Control (2013) The European Unnion summary report on trends and sources of zoonoses, zoonotic agents and food-borne outbreaks in 2011. EFSA J 11: 250. Available from: http://dx.doi.org./10.2903/j.efsa.2013.3129.
  • 10. Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (2018) The Rapid Alert System Report for food and Feed annual report. Luxembourg: European Comission. Available from: http://dx.doi.org./10.2875/945461.
  • 11. Lins P (2018) Detection of Salmonella spp. in spices and herbs. Food Control 83: 61-68.
  • 12. European Commission (EC) (2004) Comission Recommendation of 19 December 2003 concerning a coordinated programme for the official control of food stuffs for 2004 (2004/24/EC). The Official Journal of European Union 16: 29-37.
  • 13. Kabac B, Dobson ADW (2017) Mycotoxins in spices and herbs-An update. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 57: 18-34.    
  • 14. International Comission for Microbiological Specifications for Foods, IMCFS (1974) Microrganisms in Foods 2: Sampling for Microbiological Analysisi: Principles and Specific Applications. Toronto, Canada: Blackwell Scientific Publications.
  • 15. Sospedra I, Soriano JM, Mañes J (2010) Assessment of the microbiological safety of dried spices and herbs commercialized in Spain. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 65: 364-368.    
  • 16. Vitullo M, Ripabelli G, Fanelli M, et al. (2011) Microbiological and toxicological quality of dried herbs. Lett Appl Microbiol 52: 573-580.    
  • 17. Alves-Silva JM, Santos SMD, Pintado ME, et al. (2013) Chemical composition and in vitro antimicrobial, antifungal and antioxidant properties of essential oils obtained from some herbs widely used in Portugal. Food Control 32: 371-378.    
  • 18. El-Zaeddi H, Martínez-Tomé J, Calín-Sanches Á, et al. (2016) Volatile composition of essential oils from different aromatic herbs grown in Mediterranean regions of Spain. Foods 5: 41.    
  • 19. Teixeira B, Marques A, Ramos C, et al. (2013) Chemical composition and bacterial and antioxidant properties of comercial essential oils. Ind Crop Prod 43: 587-595.    
  • 20. European commission (EC): Regulation 2073/2005. EU Official Journal 15/11/2005. L.338 1-26.
  • 21. European commission (EC): Regulation 1441/2007. EU Official Journal 5/12/2007. L.332 1-12.
  • 22. Zweifel C, Stephan R (2012) Spices and herbs as source of Salmonella-related foodborne diseases. Food Res Int 45: 76-99.
  • 23. Sagoo SK, Little CL, Greenwood M, et al. (2009) Assessment of the microbiological safety of dried spices and herbs from production and retail premises in the United Kingdom. Food Microbiol 26: 39-43.    
  • 24. Banach JL, Stratakou I, van der Fels-Klerx HJ, et al. (2016). European alerting and monitoring data as inputs for the risk assessment of microbiological and chemical hazards in spices and herbs. Food Control 69: 237-249.    
  • 25. Thanh MD, Frentzel H, Fetsxh A, et al. (2018) Tenacity of Bacillus cereus and Staphyloccocus aureus in dried spices and herbs. Food Control 83: 75-84.    
  • 26. Burts S (2004) Essential oils: Their antibacterial properties and potential applications in foods-A review. Int J Food Microbiol 94: 223-253.    
  • 27. Calo JR, Crandall PG, O'Bryan CA, et al. (2015) Essential oils as antimicrobials in food system-A review. Food Control 54: 111-119.    
  • 28. Garcia-Diez J, Alheiro J, Falco V, et al. (2016) Chemical characterization and antimicrobial properties of herbs and spices essential oils against pathogens and spoilage bacteria associated to dry-cured meat products. J Essent Oil Res 1: 1-9.
  • 29. Korshidian N, Yousefi M, Khanniri E, et al. (2018) Potential application of essential oils as antimicrobial preservatives in cheese. Innov Food Sci EmergTechnol 45: 63-72.
  • 30. Tajkarimi MM, Ibrahim SA, Cliver DO (2010) Antimicrobial herb and spice compounds in food. Food Control 21: 1199-1218.    

 

Reader Comments

your name: *   your email: *  

© 2020 the Author(s), licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

Download full text in PDF

Export Citation

Copyright © AIMS Press All Rights Reserved