Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Task from HFLA Template

Qn : Some microbes that are most likely to thrive in food are Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, Bacillus cereus, Coliforms and yeasts and moulds.

Research :

For pound cakes, these are likely food-borne bacteria:

Salmonella is a pathogenic bacteria that can be passed onto humans from consumption of contaminated food. It is identified as one of the microbes likely to grow on our research product, pound cake as it can cause serious food-borne illnesses, especially when eggs are eaten raw or undercooked. Eggs are a major ingredient used in the baking of Mom's Pound Cake, hence, Salmonella is a possible risk if eggs used in the cake batter are not sufficiently cooked.

Coliforms are also food-borne bacteria, which could be found in food not properly prepared in optimal hygienic conditions. Coliforms such as E.coli are commonly found in humans' intestinal tract, which can be passed onto food if food preparation workers do not practice good personal hygiene. Therefore, the presence of Coliforms can be an indicator of the sanitary quality of foodstuffs. Preparation of the pound cakes would involve manufacturers coming into contact with raw ingredients, as well as in packing the final product. Gloves should be worn and good personal hygiene of all the workers should be observed at all times.

Bacillus Cereus
Bacillus cereus is also another food-borne bacteria responsible for foodborne illnesses. B. cereus are facultatively aerobic spore-forming bacteria, which allows them to produce or form spores when food is undercooked. If the food is also improperly refrigerated, the spores are likely to mulitply further, rendering the food unsafe for consumption. The pound cake has to be blast-frozen and kept in an ideal temperature of -18°C. If the storage temperature is not kept in a suitable range or the process of blast-freezing does not allow the internal temperature of the pound cake to reach a similar storage temperature, B. cereus is likely to fester.

Yeasts and Molds
Yeasts and molds are common causes of spoilage in food and they can most likely grow in moist environments. Some yeasts are psychrophilic, which mean that they can thrive in very low temperatures at which the frozen pound cakes are kept. They can also fester in conditions of high sugar content and pound cakes are a likely source with sugar as an ingredient. Molds tend to multiply in high moisture conditions and also when in contact with air. They can also be introduced from flour, present as an another major ingredient in the making of pound cakes. Hence, yeasts and molds are a highly likely source of spoilage in pound cakes.



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