Microbiology and its Significance to Food Safety – Research Paper Example
Microbiology and its significance Before probing into the topic of microbiology and its significance on health safety, we must first get to know what microbiology actually is. So starting with the term microbiology, it is the study of those types of microorganisms which are either microscopic organisms or unicellular organisms. The list of those microorganisms includes different types of viruses, fungi and prokaryotes. When we study these unicellular or microscopic organisms, we say that we are studying microorganisms. Talking about microorganisms, we can also say that it is the study or research on those organisms that are very difficult or impossible to be observed or seen without any microscope. It means they are so small to be observed by a bare eye. When we talk about microbiology, we should say that it is a very broad field of study and various researches are still going on in order to discover different species which come under the category of microorganisms.
The significance of microbiology can be understood in a sense that not all microorganisms are harmful for human health; some of them are rather used in various beneficial processes. These beneficial processes include production of vinegar and dairy products. Some other useful productions include enzymes and some antibiotics. Amino acids, biopolymers and polyamides are also produced by biotechnological use of different microorganisms (Roberts and Greenwood 43). While talking about benefits of microorganisms, we must also mention that results of some latest researches in the field of microbiology indicate that the disease of cancer may also be treated by the use of microorganisms. So we can say that despite of the fact that microorganisms are harmful for our health, there also exist some major benefits which we can get by microorganisms.
Microbiology and Food safety
Talking about microbiology, we should also talk about the relation between microbiology and food safety. This relation can be judged by the fact that safety and purity of food depends upon food microbiology as food safety is one of the most important focal points of food microbiology. Some of the reasons of growth of microorganisms in food products are that they can easily be detached, can tolerate severe conditions and can also contaminate (Jay, Loessner, and Golden 18). Properties of the food and its storage conditions define the behavior of microbial population in any sort of food (Wilson and Droby 35). We can say that food safety not only depends on minimization of the preliminary level of microbial infectivity but also limiting and preventing the growth of microbial populations in food. These days, the foodborne disease has significantly increased despite promulgations of regulations regarding food safety and introduction of the concept of HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points). Several changes in the food processing practices, eating habits and an increase in international trade in food have caused the disease of foodborne.
Recent developments regarding microbial food safety
If we talk about the recent developments regarding microbial food safety, we come to know that researchers of this specific field of study are intensively studying the microbiological aspects of food safety. In the year 2002, food safety standards, was implemented which is a new section of the Australia-New Zealand food standards code. Essential requirements for food businesses are included for the purpose of meeting minimum standards related to food safety practices. Many basic food safety guidelines are incorporated in the standards to insure maximum level of microbial food safety. Researchers of this field are encountering the risks which have occurred due to the changing characteristics of the relevant microorganisms, a rise in the global trade of food stuffs and changing methodologies of production.
Roberts, Diane, and Melody Greenwood. Practical food microbiology. 3rd ed. U.S.A: Blackwell Publishing, 2003.
Wilson, Charles L., and Samir Droby. Microbial food contamination. Florida: CRC Press, 2001.
Jay, James M., Martin J. Loessner and David A. Golden. Modern food microbiology. 7th ed. New York, NY: Springer Science+Business Media, 2005.