In scientific circles, as well as in public discourse, a more and more frequently emerging topic is the accelerating pace of the warming of our planet's atmosphere. One thing is certain: in recent years, heavy rains and extreme weather phenomena have become increasingly common. In addition to May rains that are worth gold, of course, long-awaited summer is knocking on the doors of nature, hot days and warm nights are coming. „Just look around, it is noon and you can see miracles, the sky is merry, with no creases on its forehead, acacia is blooming along the roads, the gold crest of the brook grows, and flashing signs are written in the bright air by a diamond-bodied large dragonfly lazily performing heroic deeds1.”
Our summer issue opens with a paper connected to both environmental protection and food safety, in which Gábor Bordós and Jens Rieber elaborate on the topic of so-called microplastics which are produced by the fragmentation of plastic wastes in our environment. Let me remind our dear readers of the article that appeared in the first issue of the 2014 volume of ÉVIK2, in which we wrote about the fact, among other things, that a food safety hazard is posed by compounds leaching from food contact materials, mainly packaging materials. Life prospects of organisms that come into contact with the microplastics which are present in the environment worsen and, additionally, when incorporated into the food chain, they can contaminate our foods, and mechanically damage the digestive systems of the mainly aquatic organisms that consume the plastic particles. It is worth considering that, in the case of packaging materials, migration happens only through a continuous food contact surface. However, in the case of microplastics, due to fragmentation, contaminants can diffuse into the bodies of the organisms that come into contact with the plastics through a significantly increased surface. This way, migration phenomena are expected to be more intense, carrying a great food safety hazard. In their manuscript, the authors also discuss the analytical methods of microplastics in the environment and in foods.
An exciting – optical – method of the sensory analysis of foods, eye tracking tests are described by Eszter Kovács and her coworkers. By supplementing eye tracking tests with statistical methods, psychological analysis of the behavior of sensory testers also becomes possible.
Lipid chemistry phenomena as results of roasting oil seeds were studied by László Somogyi et al. They found that the effect of roasting depends mainly on the fatty acid composition of the oil content of the seeds.
A new application area of the MALDI-TOF-MS technique is reported by Zsanett Simon and Csaba Lovász. In their work, protein chemical characteristics of the lines of origin of different maize varieties were analyzed. With the help of the time-of-flight mass spectrometric method used by them, the genetic purity of corn can be examined, with great certainty, and through this, it can be determined whether the properties that are important for the industrial processing of corn are present.
A topic that might seem shocking for the average food consumer was elaborated by Ágnes Kemenczei and her coworkers: in the future, foods made of insect bodies are expected to appear generally in the protein supply of mankind. The authors – being employees of the National Food Chain Safety Office (NÉBIH) – also discuss the legal and authorization issues of using insects for food industry purposes.
For our summer issue, I wish all our Readers a time spent profitably, and I hope that you can take time off to recover from your toil during your vacation.
Dr. Tamás János Szigeti
1Miklós Radnóti: June
2Szigeti Tamás János, Szekeres Zoltán, Kovács Ágnes (2014): Csomagolóanyagok szerves migránsai és a kioldódott vegyületek vizsgálati lehetőségei - ÉVIK 2014/1
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