Research

After the outbreak of listeriosis in South Africa in 2017/18, the Food Industry will in future be more vigilant about food safety and food safety issues. This group focuses on food safety and food spoilage of especially the psychrotolerant bacteria in food (of which Listeria is one such a bacterium) with emphasis on the genus Chryseobacterium. This genus is known for its food spoilage capabilities under refrigerated food storage. This group also investigates the use of natural preservatives and lowered salt concentrations in the production of food in terms of food spoilage and food safety.

Some of the research activities of this group include:

  • The taxonomy and significance of Chryseobacterium species in the food industry
  • The influence of natural and/or alternative preservatives on microbial food safety and food spoilage
  • The influence of lowered salt and replacer salts on microbial food safety and food spoilage

Microbial food analysis services

This group also runs a routine microbial food analysis laboratory. Microbial analysis of food is an integral part of assuring food safety and food quality. This laboratory has been performing microbial analysis on different kinds of food (e.g., milk and milk products, meat and meat products, cereals and cereal products, vegetables, fruit juices, teas, alcoholic beverages, water, chocolate, etc.) and analysing environmental samples from the food industry since 2000. Shelf-life studies on foods are performed for the food industry in order to determine best before dates. All the techniques employed by this laboratory for the analysis of food are either recommended by the International Standards Organization (ISO) or are validated by the French Association of Standardization (AFNOR). This laboratory also makes use of the very sophisticated Biolog® apparatus to rapidly determine the identity of food pathogens and food spoilage bacteria.

Services
  • Food safety determination (E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella, Listeria, Clostridium, etc.)
  • Food quality determination (total bacteria, coliform, lactic acid bacteria, Pseudomonas, psychrotolerant bacteria, yeast and mould counts)
  • Food surfaces, hands and air quality determination
  • Shelf-life studies (for use-by and sell-by dates)
  • Identification of food pathogens
  • Identification of food spoilage bacteria

Research Highlights/News

In a BSc Honours course on “Omics Sciences,” draft genome sequences of Chryseobacterium elymi KCTC 22547T, Chryseobacterium flavum KCTC 12877T, Chryseobacterium hispanicum KCTC 22104T, Chryseobacterium lathyri KCTC 22544T, “Candidatus Chryseobacterium massiliae” CCUG 51329T, Chryseobacterium piscium CCUG 51923T, and Chryseobacterium rhizosphaerae KCTC 22548T were generated to facilitate phylogenomic comparisons within the genus.

Matu A, Lum Nde A, Oosthuizen L, Hitzeroth A, Badenhorst M, Duba L, Gidaga M, Klinck J, Kriek I-M, Lekoma P, Nel L, dos Ramos S, Rossouw J, Salomane N, Segone N, Serobe S, Tiyani T, Hugo C and Newman J (2019) Draft genome sequences of seven Chryseobacterium type strains. Microbiology Resource Announcements 8:e01518-18. PDF

ChryseoGenomeTeam

Recent publications

Hugo C, Bernardet J-F, Nicholson A and Kämpfer P (2019) Genus Chryseobacterium. In: Bergey's Manual of Systematics of Archaea and Bacteria. Whitman, W.B. & Bergeys Manual Trust (eds.). pp 1-107. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., in association with Bergeys Manual Trust: Hoboken, New Jersey. DOI: 10.1002/9781118960608.gbm00301.pub2

Matu A, Lum Nde A, Oosthuizen L, Hitzeroth A, Badenhorst M, Duba L, Gidaga M, Klinck J, Kriek I-M, Lekoma P, Nel L, dos Ramos S, Rossouw J, Salomane N, Segone N, Serobe S, Tiyani T, Hugo C and Newman J (2019) Draft genome sequences of seven Chryseobacterium type strains. Microbiology Resource Announcements 8:e01518-18. PDF

Oosthuizen L, Charimba G, Hitzeroth A, Lum Nde A, Steyn L, Newman J and Hugo C (2019) Chryseobacterium pennipullorum sp. nov., isolated from poultry feather waste. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology DOI 10.1099/ijsem.0.003491.

Nicholson AC, Gulvik CA, Whitney AM, Humrighouse BW, Bell M, Holmes B, Steigerwalt AG, Villarma A, Sheth M, Batra D, Rowe L, Burroughs M, Pryor J, Bernardet J-F, Hugo C, Kämpfer P, Newman JD and McQuiston JR  (2019) Proposal to divide the family Flavobacteriaceae by adding Chryseobacteriaceae fam. nov. and Weeksellaceae fam. nov., and reorganize its genera based on Amino Acid Identity values calculated from whole genome sequences, with a hypothesis that observed discontinuities in these values are due to major extinction events.  International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, Accepted

Rani ZT, Hugo A, Hugo CJ, Vimiso P and Muchenje V (2017) Effect of post-slaughter handling during distribution on the microbiological quality and safety of meat in the formal and informal sectors in South Africa: A review. South African Journal of Animal Science 47(3): 255-267. PDF

Cluff M, Kobane IA, Bothma C, Hugo CJ and Hugo A (2017) Intermediate added salt levels as sodium reduction strategy: Effects on chemical, microbial, textural and sensory quality of polony. Meat Science 133: 143-150. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2017.06.014.


FACULTY CONTACT

Faculty Manager: Velaphi Makgwahla
T: + 27 51 401 3199
E: makgwahlamvt@ufs.ac.za

Marketing Manager: Elfrieda Lötter
T: +27 51 401 2531
E: lottere@ufs.ac.za

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