Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #215868

Title: New Dimensions of Food Safety and Food Quality Research

item Seiber, James

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/3/2006
Publication Date: 6/1/2007
Citation: Seiber, J.N. New Dimensions of Food Safety and Food Quality Research. In: Ohkawa, H., Miyagawa, H., Lee, P.W., editors. Pesticide Chemistry: Crop Protection, Public Health, Environmental Safety. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. p. 315-322.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Evolving consumer, regulatory, and market influences have resulted in significant changes in research directions in the broad areas of food safety and quality. In the food safety area, more attention is being placed on microbial food safety, and pathogenic microorganisms in particular. More rapid and sensitive detection methods, based on biosensors as well as advanced mass spectrometry, are receiving attention for both microrganisms as well as chemicals. Toxins in foods, such as mycotoxins and bacterial toxins, are particularly in need of better diagnostics, as well as new approaches to prevent their occurrence. New screening methods are now being developed for prions and related agents connected with mad cow and chronic wasting disease which have only relatively recently emerged as issues. Toxicants such as acrylamide that are naturally occurring in foods, or formed during food processing and preparation, receive focused research attention as information unfolds in virtually any part of the world. In the area of food quality, research on healthy food constituents, such as antioxidants, soluble fibers, and trace elements, has increased substantially. This includes identification of new bioactive natural products as well as development of methods for monitoring specific natural products in foods for which health claims are being made based upon content. Concerns over obesity, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, arthritis and other diseases that might be alleviated or prevented by dietary choices further drives interests in the chemical composition of foods. Consumer choices for fresh cut fruits and vegetables have implications for both safety and quality characteristics, and a vast array of new processed foods adds further challenges in assuring safety and quality. These and other examples illustrate the increasingly multidisciplinary nature of food safety and food quality research, including inputs from agricultural chemistry, food science, microbiology, toxicology, nutrition, molecular biology, and health sciences.