Consumption of these foods can cause food borne diseases. Food borne diseases can be fatal and may also cause large economic losses. Foods of animal origin are associated, more with food borne diseases than foods of plant origin. Mass production of food, introduction of new technologies in the processing and outrage of food, changes in food consumption patterns, and increased import of food from other countries have increased the chances of large outbreaks as well as the introduction of new pathogens.
Effective intervention technologies are being developed and implemented to ensure the safety of consumers against food borne diseases. New methods are also being developed to effectively and rapidly identify the pathogens in contaminated foods. 3. 2) Food Spoilage Except for sterile foods, all foods harbor microorganisms. Food spoilage stems from the growth of these microorganisms in food or is due to the action of microbial enzymes.
New marketing trends, consumers’ desire for foods that are not overly processed and preserved, extended shelf life, and chances of temperature abuse between production and consumption of foods have greatly increased the chances of food spoilage and, in some instances, with new types of microorganisms. The major concerns are the economic loss and wastage of food. New concepts are being studied to reduce contamination as well as control the growth of spoilage microbes in foods. 3. 3) Food Preprocessing Many food-grade microorganisms are used to produce different types of fermented odds using raw materials from animal and plant sources.
Consumption of these foods has increased greatly over the last 15 to 20 years and is expected to increase further in the future. There have been great changes in the production and availability of these micro-organisms (starter cultures) to meet the large demand. In addition, novel and better strains are being developed by using genetic engineering techniques. 3. 4) Food Additives Microbial enzymes are also being used to produce food and food additives. By employing genetic recombination techniques, and using diverse microbial sources