This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Food Safety Improvements by Recombinant Protein Technologies




Tzou, Ywh-Min

Type of Degree



Nutrition and Food Science


Food safety is a scientific term to describe proper handling, preparation and storage of foods to prevent the spread of potential hazards. Health hazards associated with foods are usually categorized as biological, chemical, allergic and physical hazards. Of those, biological hazards, foodborne pathogens, cause the most foodborne illnesses. Foodborne illness is a serious public health problem worldwide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year in the US, 76 million persons contract foodborne illnesses, of those 325,000 are hospitalized and 5,000 die. The true incidence of foodborne illness cases could be much higher, with estimates of economic costs ranging from $1.3 to $4.0 billion each year. Moreover, a recent concern about bioterrorism elevates the possibility that foodborne pathogens could be used as weapons against the public. Therefore, improvements in food safety will be beneficial to the food industry and public health, and most importantly, bring safe food to the consumers. To achieve this goal, it is widely believed that rapid and accurate detecting methods along with good foodborne pathogens control procedures to eliminate the hazards from production to the dining table. In this study, several food safety issues were researched. These include: 1. a engineered recombinant protein to improve PCR detections; 2. a cost effective method based on magnetic nano-particles to separate food particles from the foodborne pathogens; 3. alternative sources for antibodies to improve the detection of foodborne pathogens; 4. a possible candidate as a vaccine to control Listeria monocytogenes infections among animals; 5. a recombinant fungicidal protein from Nicotiana tabacum to control fungal growth during the processes.