The surge in food delivery systems during the coronavirus 2019 pandemic necessitated this study of heavy metal migration from food contact materials (FCMs). A total of 104 samples of FCMs, comprising 51 polypropylene (PP), 21 polyethylene (PE), and 32 polystyrene (PS) samples of six different types of FCMs (containers, covers, table utensils, cups, pouches, and wrappers) used for food delivery distributed in Korea, were collected and investigated for migration of three heavy metals (Pb, Cd, and As) using inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) to determine whether they complied with Korea’s Standards and Specifications for Utensils, Containers, and Packages. Acetic acid (4%, v/v) was used as the food simulant, and tests were performed at 100oC (in harsh conditions) for 30 min. Linearity of Pb, Cd, and As showed acceptable results with a coefficient of determination (R2) value of 0.9999. Limit of detection (LOD) and limit of quantification (LOQ) of Pb, Cd, and As were 0.001, 0.001, and 0.001 μg/L and 0.002, 0.003, and 0.003 μg/L, respectively. Accuracy and precision results complied with the criteria presented in the European Commission Joint Research Centre guidelines. The average concentration of Pb, Cd, and As migration detected in a total of 104 samples was 0.009–0.260 μg/L, which was very low compared with the migration specification set in the Standards and Specifications for Utensils, Containers, and Packages. The maximum level of Pb corresponded to 0.23% of the migration limit. There were no samples exceeding the limit. Thus, this study confirmed that the heavy metal contents of FCMs used for delivery food distributed in Korea were safely managed. The data from this study represent an invaluable source for science-based safety management of hazardous heavy metals migrating from FCMs used in the food delivery industry.
In this study, we examined the residual amounts of formaldehyde in hygiene products to determine the safety of these products in Gyeonggi-do. Formaldehyde is among the harmful substances that may remain within certain hygiene products. On the basis of an analysis of formaldehyde in a total of 222 items (6 disposable paper straws, 9 disposable paper napkins, 21 toilet papers, 13 disposable dishcloths, 16 disposable paper towels, 32 wet wipes for food service restaurants, 25 disposable cotton swabs, and 100 disposable diapers), we detected traces in three wet wipes for food service restaurants (1.87 to 4.45 mg/kg), which is approximately 9% to 22% of the standard level (20 mg/kg). We established that all the hygiene products assessed in the study met the individual standards for formaldehyde, thereby confirming that safe products are being distributed. In the standards and specifications for hygiene products, the formaldehyde test method is regulated for application with respect to three categories based on the type of product. The samples used in this study were of types for which method 1 or method 2 is applied, and the limits of detection, limits of quantification, linearity, and recovery rates were reviewed to verify the validity of each test method. When method 2 was applied, we experienced interference when performing analysis at a wavelength of 412 nm, which was associated with the influence of impurities in some samples of disposable cotton swabs and disposable diapers. Consequently, in these cases, the results were compared after analysis using method 1. By comparing the results obtained using method 2 with those obtained using method 1, the latter of which were unaffected by the interference of impurities, we were able to detect formaldehyde at low concentrations. These findings accordingly highlight the necessity to standardize the formaldehyde test method for future analyses.
This study aimed to investigate the effect of a coating agent on pork storage. Pork was coated with a coating agent containing sodium carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) and mandarin peel powder (M). The treatments were divided into control, a 0.1% CMC treatment, and a 0.1% CMC +5% M treatment, and pH, color, 2-thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), volatile basic nitrogen (VBN), and the number of viable cell counts were measured. In the case of redness (a), it was found that the reduction over the storage period was less in the 0.1% CMC + 5% M treatment than in the control and the 1% CMC treatment. When stored at 4oC and 25oC, TBARS of pork tended to increase during the storage period, followed by control, 0.1% CMC treatment, and 0.1% CMC + 5% M treatment, indicating that lipid oxidation was most suppressed in pork coated with mandarin peel powder. As a result of measuring the VBN of pork stored at 4oC and 25oC, the 0.1% CMC + 5% M treatment showed lower values than the control and 0.1% CMC treatment. When the film-coated pork was stored at 4oC, the number of viable cell counts in the 0.1% CMC +5% M treatment area was 7.13±0.96 log CFU/g on the 12th day of storage, delaying the growth of viable cell counts for approximately 3 d more than other treatments. Therefore, coating pork with a film containing CMC and mandarin peel powder has been confirmed to delay the increase in the number of viable cell counts while reducing the quality change during pork storage, which is an effective alternative to improving the storage of fresh food as an edible film.
In this study, we analyzed the effect of storage conditions on the survival of fungi in red pepper powder. Red pepper powder was inoculated with a total of six fungal species, namely Aspergillus terreus, Aspergillus flavus, Rhizopus microsporus, Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus niger, and Aspergillus ochraceus at a final cell count of 4–6 log CFU/g. After inoculating the sterilized red pepper powder with fungi, we dried the powder on a clean bench and packaged it in zipper bags. Following drying, the water activity was 0.502±0.001. Subsequently, the red pepper powder inoculated with fungi was stored at -20oC, 5oC, 15oC, and 25oC. All six species of fungi perished the quickest at 25oC and survived for the longest (168 days) at -20oC. In summary, this study showed that fungi survive for an extended period in red pepper powder at -20oC and 5oC compared to 15oC and 25oC. Therefore, to prevent fungal contamination, red pepper powder should have a water activity below 0.6 and be stored in a zipper bag at room temperature.
This study aimed to investigate the protective effect of enzymatically modified stevia (EMS) on C2C12 cell-based model of dexamethasone (DEX)-induced muscle atrophy to provide baseline data for utilizing EMS in functional health products. C2C12 cells with DEX-induced muscle atrophy were treated with EMS (10, 50, and 100 μg/mL) for 24 h. C2C12 cells were treated with EMS and DEX to test their effects on cell viability and myotube formation (myotube diameter and fusion index), and analyze the expression of muscle strengthening or degrading protein markers. Schisandra chinensis Extract, a common functional ingredient, was used as a positive control. EMS did not show any cytotoxic effect at all treatment concentrations. Moreover, it exerted protective effects on C2C12 cell-based model of DEX-induced muscle atrophy at all concentrations. In addition, the positive effect of EMS on myotube formation was confirmed based on the measurement and comparison of the fusion index and myotube diameter when compared with myotubes treated with DEX alone. EMS treatment reduced the expression of muscle cell degradation-related proteins Fbx32 and MuRF1, and increased the expression of muscle strengthening and synthesis related proteins SIRT1 and p- Akt/Akt. Thus, EMS is a potential ingredient for developing functional health foods and should be further evaluated in preclinical models.