Antibiotics in the food industry: They do not get tired of arguing about the benefits and harms of antibiotics: on the one hand, they have saved and continue to save people’s lives, on the other hand, they are the strongest allergen and destroy all useful in the human body along with pathogenic microflora. Recently, scientists are increasingly saying that antibiotics are losing their healing power and will soon cease to save people. The reason for this is self-medication, uncontrolled use of drugs by the population and excessive prescribing by doctors themselves. A person too often uses the need for potent drugs.
This leads to disastrous results: bacteria and microorganisms become resistant to antibiotics. And when suddenly there is a serious disease in the treatment (for example, tuberculosis or sepsis) – a new generation of antibiotic is needed, because the old one will not work.
Thus, a person is exposed to infections and microorganisms. Antibiotics quickly become obsolete, and to create a new effective drug, you need to spend 15 years and at least $ 1 million.
But even if a person completely refuses uncontrolled and excessive antibiotic treatment, protecting himself from allergies and negative effects, he is not guaranteed from their ingestion into his body. After all, we just eat them with food.
The use of antibiotics in the food industry in modern times
One of the most important measures taken for the good preservation of food products is the fight against the development of microorganisms. For this purpose, canning, fermentation, boiling, freezing of products are used, which changes their properties and significantly reduces the nutritional value.
The use of antibiotics, which have a powerful antibacterial effect and relatively low toxicity to the human body, allows you to preserve food products without losing their nutritional value. Antibiotics with a wide spectrum of action (chlortetracycline, oxytetracycline, chloramphenicol) are the most effective for this purpose. When testing their effect on various microorganisms isolated from spoiled meat, antibiotics suppressed the development of 70-80% of the strains.
Antibiotics are used for the preservation of meat, fish, poultry, milk, fruits, vegetables, etc. The preservation of fresh meat, fish and poultry is difficult due to the fact that these products are an ideal environment for the development of microorganisms.
The use of antibiotics in meat, fish and other foods
The antibiotic is fed to animals immediately before slaughter or injected under pressure into the carotid artery immediately after slaughter. This allows you to increase the shelf life of fresh meat up to 2-3 days and improve its appearance, smell, color. Spraying of butchered and chilled beef carcasses with an antibiotic solution is also effective. The addition of an antibiotic extends the shelf life of minced meat.
The use of antibiotics can significantly extend the shelf life of fresh fish (especially during long-term transportation). The fish is immersed in an antibiotic solution (concentration 5-100 mg / l) for 1-5 minutes or in chilled seawater (1-1.5 ° C) containing 2 mg / l of antibiotic. The shelf life of fish is also increased when it is kept on crushed ice containing 1-2 mg / l of chlortetracycline.
Similar methods (immersion in an antibiotic solution or storage on ice with an antibiotic) are used to extend the shelf life of poultry. In some cases, the shelf life can be increased by 2-3 times.
The use of antibiotics during storage and transportation of milk without cooling allows you to extend the shelf life up to four days at 30 ° C. A mixture of patulin with chlortetracycline protects milk from spoilage for 10 days. It should be noted that tetracycline antibiotics, chloramphenicol, and penicillin proved to be the most effective when storing milk. With further use of milk, it is necessary to inactivate the added antibiotic: penicillin – with the addition of penicillinase, chlortetracycline – with three-substituted sodium phosphate; milk is kept for several hours at 20 ° C.
Inactivation of antibiotics in the food industry
Inactivation of antibiotics may not be carried out when antibiotic-resistant strains of microorganisms are used for milk processing. In the production and storage of cheeses, an antibiotic is used that suppresses the development of clostridial and other forms of bacteria involved in the process of spoiling cheeses.
It is possible to use antibiotics in the manufacture of canned vegetables, in this case, antibiotics obtained from higher plants (phytoncides) are often used.
Antibiotics are used in cases where it is necessary to suppress the development of undesirable harmful microflora. For example, in winemaking, penicillin, chlortetracycline, bacitracin are used to suppress the growth of bacteria that form mucous substances and wild yeast.
In all cases of the use of antibiotics for food preservation, it is necessary to take into account the possibility of their ingestion in small quantities into the human body. It is shown that 200 g of canned meat (with the use of an antibiotic) contains about 1/1000 part of the daily therapeutic dose of the drug. Although such subthreshold doses do not show pharmacological action, they can affect the sensitivity of macroorganisms. Therefore, it is necessary to pay special attention to the removal of antibiotics before the final preparation of food products.
In addition, in the food industry, it is desirable to use antibiotics that are not used for medicinal purposes (for example, amoxil or its analog).
In the next article we will tell you in detail about the use of antibiotics in meat, fish and seafood.