About this Research Topic
One of the most important emerging aspects that requires further research in food safety is the simultaneous presence of different contaminants (both microbiological and chemical) in the same food, the so-called “cocktail effect”. Large amounts of data are needed for these evaluations, since the huge number of interactions among different contaminants, which maybe hypothesized, have to be statistically evaluated before confirming an effective risk. Moreover, the range of food to take into account within these studies is very wide. In order to obtain comprehensive datasets, new approaches are needed. These approaches, composed of new analytical procedures, microbiological protocols and chemical/physical determinations, should allow the quick and economic obtainment of many parameters, possibly respecting the environment, in the “green chemistry” perspective.
During last decade, the use of gas and liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry has allowed the development of innovative methods able to quantify a large number of food contaminants, using the same sample preparation and chromatographic run. Applications were mainly focused on the determinations of pesticides, veterinary drugs and environmental contaminants in food, but many other employments are under study (metabolomics, protein fingerprint in microbiology, dark matter, etc.). These recent advances are very useful in the context of food inspection, since these novel approaches provide a lot of information in a brief time. A special focus should also be placed on the advent of nanotechnologies in the food safety sector, with several applications in food packaging, shelf-life enhancement, analytical devices, etc. Regarding microbiology aspects, the development of rapid and robust methods for the detection/isolation of the most representative foodborne pathogens (i.e., O157:H7, non-O157 STEC, human noroviruses, etc.) represents a constant challenge in food safety.
The main focus of this Research Topic is to showcase the latest advances in development of new procedures, approaches and technologies for the determination of chemical and microbiological contaminants in food, with a special focus on nanotechnology, chromatography/mass spectrometry, nano/microplastics determination and emerging pathogens. This subject will be deepened through the selection of high-quality scientific articles dedicated to food chemistry and microbiology in food safety.
Keywords: Food Safety, Contaminants, Mass Spectrometry, Microplastics, Pathogens, Metabolomics
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