Current Status and Future Trends in Removal, Control, and Mitigation of Algae Food Safety Risks for Human Consumption

Guowei Wu, Dingling Zhuang, Kit Wayne Chew, Tau Chuan Ling, Kuan Shiong Khoo, Dong Van Quyen, Shuying Feng, Pau Loke Show

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

With the rapid development of the economy and productivity, an increasing number of citizens are not only concerned about the nutritional value of algae as a potential new food resource but are also, in particular, paying more attention to the safety of its consumption. Many studies and reports pointed out that analyzing and solving seaweed food safety issues requires holistic and systematic consideration. The three main factors that have been found to affect the food safety of algal are physical, chemical, and microbiological hazards. At the same time, although food safety awareness among food producers and consumers has increased, foodborne diseases caused by algal food safety incidents occur frequently. It threatens the health and lives of consumers and may cause irreversible harm if treatment is not done promptly. A series of studies have also proved the idea that microbial contamination of algae is the main cause of this problem. Therefore, the rapid and efficient detection of toxic and pathogenic microbial contamination in algal products is an urgent issue that needs to be addressed. At the same time, two other factors, such as physical and chemical hazards, cannot be ignored. Nowadays, the detection techniques are mainly focused on three major hazards in traditional methods. However, especially for food microorganisms, the use of traditional microbiological control techniques is time-consuming and has limitations in terms of accuracy. In recent years, these two evaluations of microbial foodborne pathogens monitoring in the farm-to-table chain have shown more importance, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, there are also many new developments in the monitoring of heavy metals, algal toxins, and other pollutants. In the future, algal food safety risk assessment will not only focus on convenient, rapid, low-cost and high-accuracy detection but also be connected with some novel technologies, such as the Internet of Things (artificial intelligence, machine learning), biosensor, and molecular biology, to reach the purpose of simultaneous detection.

Original languageBritish English
Article number6633
JournalMolecules
Volume27
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2022

Keywords

  • algal food
  • farm-to-table chain
  • food safety
  • foodborne diseases
  • microbial foodborne pathogens

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