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Viability and Antigenicity of Anisakis simplex after Conventional and Microwave Heating at Fixed Temperatures

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Inactivation of parasites in food by microwave treatment may vary due to differences in the characteristics of microwave ovens and food properties. Microwave treatment in standard domestic ovens results in hot and cold spots, and the microwaves do not penetrate all areas of the samples depending on the thickness, which makes it difficult to compare microwave with conventional heat treatments. The viability of Anisakis simplex (isolated larvae and infected fish muscle) heated in a microwave oven with precise temperature control was compared with that of larvae heated in a water bath to investigate any additional effect of the microwaves. At a given temperature, less time was required to kill the larvae by microwaves than by heated water. Microwave treatment killed A. simplex larvae faster than did conventional cooking when the microwaves fully penetrated the samples and resulted in fewer changes in the fish muscle. However, the heat-stable allergen Ani s 4 was detected by immunohistochemistry in the fish muscle after both heat treatments, even at 70°C, suggesting that Ani s 4 allergens were released from the larvae into the surrounding tissue and that the tissues retained their allergenicity even after the larvae were killed by both heat treatments. Thus, microwave cooking will not render fish safe for individuals already sensitized to A. simplex heat-resistant allergens.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología de Alimentos y Nutrición, Instituto del Frío, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, C/José Antonio Novais 10, E-28040 Madrid, Spain 2: Department of Cellular Biology, Faculty of Biology, Complutense University of Madrid, C/José Antonio Novais 2, E-28040 Madrid, Spain 3: Microscopy and Cytometry Research Centre, Complutense University of Madrid, E-28040 Madrid, Spain 4: Technical Unit of Mercamadrid, Public Health Institute, Madrid City Council, Mercamadrid, E-28053 Madrid, Spain

Publication date: December 1, 2011

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