Over the years, numerous studies have been conducted into the possible links between biofilms in beverage industry and health safety. Consumers trust that the soft drinks they buy are safe and their quality is guaranteed. This chapter provides an overview of available scientific knowledge and cites numerous studies on various aspects of biofilms in drinking water technology and soft drinks industry and their implications for health safety. Particular attention is given to Proteobacteria, including two different genera: Aeromonas, which represents Gammaproteobacteria, and Asaia, a member of Alphaproteobacteria.
Part of the book: Microbial Biofilms
Plants have the ability to synthesize almost unlimited number of substances. In many cases, these chemicals serve in plant defense mechanisms against microorganisms, insects, and herbivores. Generally, any part of the plant may contain the various active ingredients. Among the plant, active compounds are saponins, which are traditionally used as natural detergents. The name ‘saponin’ comes from the Latin word ‘sapo,’ which means ‘soap’ as saponins show the unique properties of foaming and emulsifying agents. Steroidal and triterpenoid saponins can be used in many industrial applications, from the preparation of steroid hormones in the pharmaceutical industry to utilization as food additives that exploit their non‐ionic surfactant properties. Saponins also exhibit different biological activities. This chapter has been prepared by participants of the Marie Sklodowska‐Curie Action—Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) in the framework of the proposal ‘ECOSAPONIN.’ Interactions between the participants, including chemists, physicists, technologists, microbiologists and botanists from four countries, will contribute to the development of collaborative ties and further promote research and development in the area of saponins in Europe and China. Although this chapter cannot provide a comprehensive account of the state of knowledge regarding plant saponins, we hope that it will help make saponins the focus of ongoing international cooperation.
Part of the book: Application and Characterization of Surfactants
It has long been shown that phytochemicals protect plants against viruses, bacteria, fungi and herbivores, but only relatively recently we have learnt that they are also critical in protecting humans against diseases. A significant amount of medicinal plants is consumed by humans. As food‐related products, they additionally improve human health and general well‐being. This chapter deals with plant‐derived food preservatives. Particular attention has been paid to the following berry fruits: cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon), bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), black currant (Ribes nigrum), elderberry (Sambucus nigra), cornelian cherry (Cornus mas) and açaí (Euterpe oleracea), as well as the following herbs and spices: peppermint (Mentha piperita), basil (Ocimum basilicum), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), thyme (Thymus vulgaris), nettle (Urtica dioica), cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) bark, cloves (Syzygium aromaticum) and licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) as alternative sources of natural antimicrobial and antibiofilm agents with potential use in food industry. Moreover, we present an overview of the most recent information on the positive effect of bioactive compounds of these plants on human health. This chapter is a collection of essential and valuable information for food producers willing to use plant‐derived bioactive substances for ensuring the microbiological safety of products.
Part of the book: Food Additives
Traditionally the term ‘yeast’ means Saccharomyces cerevisiae and its close relatives. This yeast is used in traditional fermentation processes, mainly for ethanol formation, baking, winemaking and beer production. The classical carbon substrates for typical yeast processes are glucose or sucrose, however, the successful expansion of industrial biotechnology drives research toward the utilization of alternative carbon sources. New technologies require very specific challenges and differ from those found in conventional fermentation processes. Most microbial habitats, especially in modern biotechnological processes, do not provide culture media rich in mono- and disaccharides. They include fermentation environments with various compositions of carbon and energy sources as well as the presence of various cytotoxic compounds which inhibit the growth of industrial yeasts. About 1500 various yeast species have been identified nowadays. Microbiologists and biotechnologists have named all non-S. cerevisiae yeasts as ‘non-conventional’ yeasts. Their features present a potential that can be used for non-conventional processes. Non-Saccharomyces strains provide alternative metabolic routes for substrate utilization and product formation. The diversity of these yeasts includes many species possessing useful, and sometimes uncommon, metabolic features potentially interesting for biotechnology. The selected strains of non-conventional yeasts could be used as pure or mixed cultures for improving industrial fermentations.
Part of the book: Old Yeasts