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Food Control
Vol. 121,2021

Pretreatment methods for nucleic acid-based rapid detection of pathogens in food: A review

Jin-HeeKim, Se-Wook Oh

Department of Food and Nutrition, Kookmin University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


The random distribution of pathogens in food can be detected according to various characteristics of the microorganism, such as colony morphology, nucleic acids, proteins, antigens, and metabolites. Technological advancements have led to the replacement of time-consuming and labor-intensive culture-based detection methods by nucleic acid-based rapid detection techniques. However, current molecular detection methods require lengthy cultural enrichment (1024 h) to detect low levels of pathogen contamination. This review introduces techniques for separating and concentrating bacterial pathogens for use in molecular analyses and aims to provide an understanding of the advantages and limitations of these techniques. Although pretreatment techniques, such as centrifugation, filtration, immunomagnetic separation, and combined methods, can reduce or eliminate the need for cultural enrichment by removing inhibitors or reducing the sample size. However, the techniques optimized for one type of food matrix are difficult to apply to another type of food matrix. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a verification protocol for various foods in order to evaluate the applicability of pre-treatment techniques.

Keywords : Pretreatment, Rapid detection, Molecular detection, Foodborne pathogen.

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