Sunday, September 27, 2020

Bacterial contamination behind glowing sushi

Aug 01. 2020
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By THE NATION

The luminous sushi a man had bought on Monday (July 27) was contaminated by bioluminescent bacteria, the Department of Medical Sciences said on Friday.

The man had posted on his social media images of sushi he had bought that glowed in the dark. The sushi was then handed over to the department for inspection.

Opart Karnkawinpong, the department director-general, informed that the glow in the sushi was caused by bacteria.

He explained that the bioluminescent state can be found in sea food or aquatic animals, due to those luminous bacteria, such as photobacterium phosphoreum, photobacterium leiognathid, or vibrio harveyi.

He said that the contamination found in the samples could be from original ingredients. Opart added that the ingredients may pass some procedure to kill microbes, but that was not enough to deal with the bioluminescent bacteria.

However, he added that not all contaminated food can glow in the dark, as the density of bacteria must be high enough to show the luminous effect.

According to the department’s experiment in 2010, the glowing effect can happen when the bacteria was around 1 million to 10 million cells per kilogram of food.

The director-general said that the bacteria could grow in cool places, so the glowing effect can be seen if the seafood is kept in refrigerators for a long time. However, eating contaminated food would be dangerous for health.

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