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SHELF-LIFE EVALUATION OF FOODS: 2nd EDITION. Dominic Man and Adrian Jones, eds. Aspen Publishers, Inc., 7201 McKinney Circle, Glyndon, MD 21071-0444. Phone 800-638-8348 or visit www.aspenpublishers.com. ISBN 0-8342-1782-1. 2000. 272 pp. $149.00.
Shelf-Life Evaluation of Foods is a book that would be a welcome addition to any food scientist’s library. A nice mix of theory and practice, it allows the reader to not only learn how to do something, but also understand some of the theory behind the practice.
The authors have divided the book into two parts: Principles and Practice. The Principles section provides the reader with the basics of determining shelf life and its importance to quality. The editors could have placed a little more emphasis on the role of marketing in product development and its relationship with technical staff. They also included a chapter on HACCP, which seems to have become a vital part of any technical reference these days. Even though it isn’t a bad chapter, the text would have lost nothing if it had been excluded.
The Practice section provides guidelines for determining shelflife and potential pitfalls for a range of different product categories. The individual chapters address chilled foods, fresh and lightly preserved seafoods, ambient packaged cakes, chips and savory snacks, chocolate and confectionery, and a few others. The individual chapters are generally strong, but those who work with the individual products or processes can probably find a few “nits” to pick.
Richard F. Stier, IFT Fellow, Technical Director, Agriculture-Led Export Businesses, Cairo, Egypt
NATURAL FOOD ANTIMICROBIAL SYSTEMS.
A.S. Naidu, ed. CRC Press LLC, 2000 NW Corporate Blvd., Boca Raton, FL 33431. Phone 561-994-0555 or fax 561-361-6075. ISBN: 0-8493-2047-X. 2000. 818 pp. No price given.
The 818 pages of this volume are divided into six sections: Lacto-Antimicrobials, Ovo-Antimicrobials, Phyto-Antimicrobials, Bacto-Antimicrobials, Acid-Antimicrobials, and Milieu-Antimicrobials (NaCl, Polyphosphates, Chloro-Cides, and Ozone). The last section does not appear to be consistent with the book’s title.
Each chapter presents historical information, molecular properties, purification, antimicrobial spectrum of activity, applications, safety, and efficacy of the chemical agents. There is an appropriate number of quality illustrations, diagrams, graphs, and tables throughout. Chapter 2 on lactoferrin comprises 85 pages, or one-tenth of the entire book, and is highly detailed in presenting lactoferrin as an antioxidant, iron-delivery system, and immuno-modulating agent. Chapter 4 describes the immunoglobulins occurring in milk and colostrum. Chapter 6 on lysozyme is 67 pages long.
Chapter 12 on flavonoids is illuminating, particularly the observations that certain flavonoids exhibit potent in-vivo antiviral activity and are used in the therapy of certain viral diseases. However, the reader is cautioned with respect to statements in various chapters referring to in-vivo antiviral activity which may refer to whole animal or tissue culture studies.
Chapter 13 on thiosulfonates presents a detailed review of the antimicrobial activities of garlic extracts and allicin, the major thiosulfonate involved, with informative tables. Evidence for the effectiveness of green tea catechins in decreasing dental plaque and caries, as well as in combating gingivitis, is interestingly described in Chapter 14. Chapter 17 on probiotics is presented in elegant and objective detail. Chapter 18 presents an updated review of nisin with respect to its biosynthesis, assay, mechanism of activity, and food applications.
The chapters on sorbic acid and acetic acid are quite appropriate. The notable absence of a chapter on benzoic acid is, however, difficult to reconcile, considering that lactic and citric acids are chemical agents of much less significance as antimicrobials.
All of the chapters have updated literature citations, with several listing more than 350. Most of the 29 chapters were plagued with a variety of grammatical errors, from incomplete sentences to frequent omissions of the indefinite article “the,” which is primarily a reflection of editing. Overall, each chapter is easy to read, and the volume as a whole contains a vast amount of appropriately organized and technically detailed information of value to established researchers, graduate students, and members of industry.
Robert E. Levin, Professor, Dept. of Food Science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Mass.
Antioxidants in Muscle Foods: Nutritonal Strategies to Improve Quality. Eric A. Decker, Cameron Faustman, and Clemente J. Lopez-Bote, eds. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 605 Third Ave., New York, NY 10158-0012. Phone 800-CALL-WILEY or fax 212-850-6008. ISBN 0-471-31454-4. 2000. 499 pp. $110.
Cell and Developmental Biology of Arabinogalactan-Proteins. Eugene A. Nothnagel, Antony Bacic, and Adrienne E. Clarke, eds. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, 233 Spring St., 7th Floor, New York, NY 10013-1578. Phone 212-620-8000 or fax 212-463-0742. ISBN 0-306-46469-1. 2000. 301 pp. $139.
Crop Responses and Adaptations to Temperature Stress. Amarjit S. Basra, ed. Food Products Press®, an imprint of the Haworth Press, Inc., 10 Alice St., Binghamton, NY 13904-1580. Phone 800-HAWORTH, fax 800-895-0582, e-mail [email protected], or visit www.haworthpressinc.com. ISBN 1-56022-906-3. 2001. 302 pp.$94.95.
Enriching the Earth: Fritz Haber, Carl Bosch, and the Transformation of World Food Production. Vaclav Smil. The MIT Press, 5 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142-1493. Phone 800-356-0343, e-mail [email protected], or visit www.mitpress.mit.edu. ISBN 0-262-19449-X. 2001. 338 pp. $34.95.
Microbial Food Contamination. Charles L. Wilson and Samir Droby, eds. CRC Press LLC, 2000 N.W. Corporate Blvd., Boca Raton, FL 33431 ( Call 800-272-7737; fax 800-374-3401). ISBN: 0-8493-2229-4. 2001. 290 pp. No price given.
Safe and Effective Use of Crop Protection Products in Developing Countries. John Atkin and Klaus M. Leisinger, eds. CABI Publishing, 10 E. 40th St., Suite 3202, New York, NY 10016 (Call 212-481-7018; fax 212-686-7993; e-mail [email protected]). ISBN: 0-85199-471-7. 2000. 163 pp. $65.