Bindu Sundaresan, Ph.D

Recent Posts

The complexity of spicy cinnamon chocolate ice cream

Posted by Bindu Sundaresan, Ph.D on Oct 7, 2015 2:31:49 PM

I recently attended the International Dairy Show in Chicago in the hopes of expanding my knowledge of the dairy segment and meeting some of the experts in the field. The greatest benefit of being at a dairy show, is the opportunity to get a taste of a variety of delightful ice creams – spicy cinnamon chocolate, walnut- raspberry, tiramisu, to name a few as well as a seemingly endless variety of cheeses and dairy beverages.

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Spice use linked to Climate Change...you can't Deny it! Plus other Spicy facts

Posted by Bindu Sundaresan, Ph.D on Apr 10, 2015 10:06:00 AM


In an interesting study of 93 traditional cook books from 36 countries across the globe, it was found that as the mean annual temperature of a country increased, so did the number of spices per recipe1. Many spices are known to have antimicrobial properties and the use of the more inhibitory spices (garlic, onion, chilies, etc.) increased with the temperature of the region in these recipes. The study concluded that antimicrobial properties of spices helped in prevention of food borne illnesses in countries where microbial contamination risk is higher and provided the population with an evolutionary advantage.

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FMEA: an efficient path for Pathogen testing

Posted by Bindu Sundaresan, Ph.D on Jan 14, 2015 4:18:00 PM

Pathogen testing methods are used to monitor the effectiveness of HACCP plans and need to provide high quality results to ensure safety of the food supply. To ensure that the best pathogen detection system is used at a given facility, it is important to gain an understanding of potential errors associated with a method so that false results can be minimized. For this purpose, a Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) can be used to identify and quantify risk for a number of pathogen detection methods. 

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Low Moisture Foods and Salmonella

Posted by Bindu Sundaresan, Ph.D on Dec 2, 2014 3:48:28 PM

Due to their low water content, one would expect that products such as spices, nuts, cereal, peanut butter, and chocolate are naturally safe and devoid of bacteria. But several product recalls in the past few years have demonstrated that this is not the case. Most of the recalls have been associated with Salmonella contamination. 

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Five interesting facts about E. coli

Posted by Bindu Sundaresan, Ph.D on Oct 16, 2014 2:36:00 PM

E. coli has been associated with a number of food borne outbreaks in the United States and remains a costly safety concern for the food industry. But did you know…

  1. The full name of E. coli is Escherichia coli. Escherichia is named after Theodor Escherich, a German pediatrician who discovered it in 1885.  Coli means “from the colon” and is used because it is commonly found in the colon of mammals (including humans).
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What is Target Capture and how is it innovating sample prep and food pathogen testing?

Posted by Bindu Sundaresan, Ph.D on Sep 3, 2014 2:25:00 PM

What is Target Capture?

Target capture is a highly specific sample preparation method to purify and concentrate only the target RNA of interest. 

Why is it done?

During the transfer step, the enriched samples are placed in a lysis buffer to break open the bacterial cell and release nucleic acids (DNA and RNA). At this point the lysis tube also contains other cell components like cell organelles, lipids, denatured proteins, and specific food matrix related compounds like ions, fat, oils and phenols.

Some of these compounds (for example, calcium ions in milk, fat and collagen in beef, polysaccharides in produce) can interfere with the downstream steps of amplification and detection. In addition, the tube may also contain nucleic acids from other bacteria that may cross react and lead to false positives. For these reasons, it is a good idea to have a purification step prior to amplification of the target nucleic acid.

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