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  • Microbiological status of bulk tank milk and different flavored gomolya cheeses produced by a milk producing and processing plant

    The microbiological quality of milk is important not only for food safety, but it can also influence the quality of dairy products. In this study, our aim was to assess the microbiological status of the bulk milk of a milk-producing farm, and some natural and flavored (garlic, dill, onion) gomolya cheeses made from pasteurized milk produced by their own processing plant. We determined the number of coliform bacteria, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and molds of three milk and eight cheese samples. The tests were conducted between July and September, 2017.

    In bulk milk, the mean coliform count was 3.83±0.17 log10 CFU/ml; the mean E. coli count was 1.38±0.14 log10 CFU/ml; the mean mold count was 3.74±1.30 log10 CFU/ml; and the S. aureus count was <1.00 log10 CFU/ml, respectively. The mean coliform count in gomolya cheeses was 3.69±1.00 log10 CFU/g; the mean E. coli count was 2.63±0.58 log10 CFU/g; the mean S. aureus count was 3.69±1.35 log10 CFU/g and the mean mold count was 1.74±0.37 log10 CFU/g. The amount of coliforms detected in different flavored gomolya cheeses were significantly different (P<0.05). More than 10 CFU/g of E. coli was found only in the dill flavored cheeses, and S. aureus was found only in dill (3.66±1.86 log10 CFU/g) and onion (3.71±0.52 log10 CFU/g) flavored gomolya cheeses. Based on the obtained results, it was found that the amount of coliform bacteria and E. coli in bulk milk exceeded the limit set in regulation of the Hungarian Ministry of Health (MoH) 4/1998 (XI. 11.) and the amount of S. aureus was below the limit. For gomolya cheeses, the S. aureus count exceeded the limit. The amount of coliform bacteria remained above the limit in cheeses, except for the garlic flavored gomolya cheese. In cheeses, a larger E. coli count was detected than in the bulk milk, but there is no specific limit for cheeses in the regulation. The mold count exceeded the limit specified in the regulation in cheeses, but a lower value was detected relative to milk.

    The results show that, in the case of bulk milk and gomolya cheeses, certain detected quantities exceeded the limit values set forth in regulation of MoH 4/1998 (XI. 11.). The results indicate an inadequate microbiological state of the raw material and the finished products. The reasons for these are due to reduced technological hygiene or the inappropriate handling of raw material and finished products. In this study, we have summarized the results of our preliminary studies, which can provide a basis for further hygiene studies.

  • The factors affecting the proliferation of mould fungi and mycotoxin production during the storage of wheat and the identification methods of the appearing branches

    Nowadays, it is often suggested that, we should eat products made with whole grain cereals, despite of the fact that it raises the risk of consuming wheat products infected by mold and their toxins originated from the plough-lands and the stocks.
    Two third of the cultivated fields in Hungary are planted with cereals. The most alarming problem for food and feed security is caused by the Fusarium species. The greatest problem of all is caused by the mycotoxins. When they get into the food chain they can be a serious threat to public health. In addition, we have to face up to the problem of the effects of global warming that influence the growth of microbial infections in different ways.
    In this article we tried to summarize the effect of climate change on molds, the factors which have effect on growing and mycotoxin producing of molds and the identification methods of molds.

  • Effect of Ozone Exposure on Phytopathogenic Microorganisms on Stored Apples

    The aim of our study was to clarify the effect of ozone exposure on several phytopathogenic fungi on stored apple fruits under different storage conditions. The study was conducted at Bistrita, Romania, in the storehouse of an experimental apple orchard in 2002 and 2003. Two widely grown apple cultivars (‘Jonathan’ and ‘Golden Delicious’) were used. General microbial examination of the fruits was made during storage in order to identify the most important storage pathogens. Efficacy of six ozone treatments was evaluted on fruit decay caused by phytopathogenic fungi. Monthly observations (January, February, March and April) were made of the degree of decay and three measurements were assessed (disease frequency, disease intensity and degree of attack). Our results showed that the most important phytopathogenic fungi during storage was blue mold, caused by species of Penicillium. Disease frequency of apple fruits was very high on cv. ‘Jonathan’, much higher than on cv. ‘Golden delicious’. Ozone treatments (25 ppm ozone for 0.5 and 1.5 hours in November) caused significantly lower disease incidence on stored apple than all other ozone treatments. For longer storage, it seems that additional ozone treatments in February increased treatment efficacy. Cv. ‘Golden delicious’ seemed to be more resistant to storage diseases than cv. ‘Jonathan’ both on the untreated and treated fruits. The effect of the ozone treatments was also the most effective when 25 ppm ozone was applied for 0.5 and 1.5 hours in November.

  • Aflatoxin production on agricultural products

    Aflatoxins due to their toxicity pose significant economic and human health threat; therefore, it is important to avoid this type of contamination in agricultural products. Until now significant aflatoxin contamination occurred mainly in foods of tropical and subtropical origin because the optimal growth of the producer Aspergillus species is between 32–38 ºC. Nowadays the aflatoxin contamination is becoming higher threat in Hungary, due to the imported products, the rising average temperature and the climatic changes. There is a significant knowledge on the genetic and environmental effectors of the aflatoxin production; however, it is remained a great problem to control mold contamination and toxin production in farming and stock-raising. Here we attempted to summarize the knowledge on aflatoxin production and attempts of the elimination.

  • Population genetic results of Hungarian Botrytis cinerea isolates establishing new technologies with decreased chemical usage against grey mould

    Botrytis cinerea causes gray mold on a high number of crop plants. Information about the populations of plant pathogen fungi may help to develop new strategies for the effective and economic crop protection with reduced fungicide usage. Hungarian B. cinerea populations were characterized with using different molecular genetic parameters. B. cinerea group I strains, characterized with high rate of fenhexamid resistance, could be detected only in restricted number. The Hungarian B. cinerea populations were characterized with high genetic diversity, and the regular occurrence of sexual reproduction. These results highlight the importance of rotating different type of fungicide in the plant protection technology against grey mould.

  • The effect of keeping technology on the microbiological status of raw milk

    The importance of the quality of raw milk increased after Hungary had joined to the EU. On delivery of raw milk, the microbiological quality, especially total plate count of the milk is very important. Twenty-two farms (7 large, 4 medium-sized, and 11 small farms) were included in the study. We considered the different farm size, keeping- and milking circumstances during the selection of farms. The examined large farms use loose housing system (cubicle, deep litter) and milking parlour. Most of them use preand post-milking disinfection. In the medium-sized farms, loose,
    deep litter and tie-stall housing system, as well as milking parlour, pipeline milking and bucket milking occurred. All of them use preand post-milking disinfection. Small farms use tie-stall housing system, bucket milking and udder preparation by water. Unfortunately, they do not use pre- or post-milking disinfection. In the large and medium-sized farms mainly Holstein Friesian, in the small farms Hungarian Simmental breeds can be found.
    The aim of our research was to examine the microbiological status of the raw milk produced in dairy farms (total plate count, coliform count, Escherichia coli count, Staphylococcus aureus count, psychrotroph bacteria count, furthermore yeast and mold count); sources of the contamination; connection between the microbiological quality of produced milk and housing-, milking technologies of farms; furthermore the hygienic circumstances of milking and milk handling of the farms, by the examination of coliform bacteria and Escherichia coli contamination.
    During the examination of the connection between the different farm sizes, various housing- and milking forms and the microbiological characteristics we observed similar tendencies in the case of total plate count, coliform count, yeast and molds count, furthermore psychrotroph bacteria count. The value of  these parameters was significantly higher in small farms, and infarms which use tie-stall housing forms, bucket milking, udder preparation with water, and which do not use pre- and post-milking disinfection.
    The results showed that besides cooling, the milking procedure and the type of udder preparation had the largest effect on the total plate count. Statistical analysis shows that in medium and small farms the combination of pipeline milking – tie stall housing system – disinfectant preparation of the udder; in large farms the combination of milking parlour – loose cubicle housing system – dry preparation of the udder are the most appropriate in the aspect of the total plate count. We experienced that in farms where the hygienic instructions are not followed – and therefore
    equipment used during the milking and handling of milk is very contaminated – or rather the separation of mastitic cows’ milk is not appropriate, different microorganisms may contaminate the produced milk. 

  • Examination of the efficacy of different fungicides against Macrophomina phaseolina and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum in laboratory conditions

    Macrophomina phaseolina and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum are two significant fungal pathogens of sunflower. M. phaseolina causes charcoal rot and ashy stem blight in several important crop species. Sclerotinia sclerotiorum causes white mold disease which can occur as middle stalk rot, head rot and premature plant death. Due to the wide host range of the two pathogens and their survival structures, crop rotation cannot provide sufficient protection against them. In our experiment, we selected two fungicides, Mirage and Prosaro, which are widely used in practice, and we tested their efficacy against the two pathogens. The efficiency of these fungicides was tested at a concentration of 10; 20; 50; 100 and 500 ppm. The Prosaro totally inhibited the mycelial growth of both pathogens at a concentration of 50 ppm, 100 ppm and 500 ppm. The Mirage caused total mycelial growth inhibition in all treatments against both pathogens.

  • Inhibition of the spread of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum in aquaponics

    Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, which causes white mold, is a widespread pathogen. In 2020, a new host plant of this fungus, the watercress (Nasturtium officinale) was identified in Hungary in an aquaponic system. During the cultivation of watercress S. sclerotiorum was detected on the plant, the fungus caused a 30% yield loss. Fungicides should not be used against fungi in aquaponic systems. Non-chemical methods of integrated pest management should be used. These include biological control (resistant species, predators, pathogens, antagonist microorganisms), manipulation of physical barriers, traps, and the physical environment. In the aquaponic system, the removal of the growing medium (expanded clay aggregate pellets) solved the damage of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum 100%. By removing the expanded clay aggregate pellets, the environmental conditions became unfavorable for the development and further spread of the S. sclerotium fungus.