Submitted to: Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/11/2003
Publication Date: 5/20/2003
Citation: ASHBY, K.D., WEN, J., CHOWDHURY, P., CASEY, T., RASMUSSEN, M.A., PETRICH, J.W. FLUORESCENCE OF DIETARY PORPHYRINS AS A BASIS FOR REAL-TIME DETECTION OF FECAL CONTAMINATION ON MEAT. JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURE AND FOOD CHEMISTRY. 2003. V. 51. P. 3502-3507. Interpretive Summary: We have identified a specific fluorescent signal, derived from chlorophyll degradation products, in bovine feces that is useful for detecting fecal contamination on animal carcasses. The presence of feces on meat is a primary source of foodborne pathogens. We have exploited the fluorescent properties of feces on animal carcasses. The technology appears to be applicable to beef carcasses and may also be useful, and appropriate, for other types of carcasses and meat products.
Technical Abstract: Digestion of green plants in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract produces degradation products from chlorophyll that cause ingesta and feces to be highly fluorescent. This property was exploited for development and construction of instruments to noninvasively, detect minute quantities of feces on meat samples in real time. The presence of feces on meat products is a primary source of foodborne pathogens, such as E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella. This new technology provides a rapid and accurate alternative to the practice of visual inspection and augments more time-consuming biological testing methods. This innovation can assist meat processors and government inspectors in their efforts to provide safe and wholesome food to consumers.