Food Storage

Chemical changes in food during storage can produce substances that cause food intolerance. An example is intolerance to ripe or stored tomatoes in subjects who can safely eat green tomatoes, where ripening of the fruit produces a new active glycoprotein. Some adverse reactions resulting from food storage come into the category of toxic reactions, such as the rise in levels of histamine and tyramine in certain foods during storage as a result of bacterial decarboxylation. An example of this is the production of histamine in badly stored mackerel and other fish: scombroid fish poisoning. Contamination of food by antigens such as storage mites or microbial spores may give rise to adverse effects, particularly asthma and eczema. Contamination of food by microorganisms may result in adverse effects. For example, celery, parsnip, and parsley may become infected with the fungus Sclerotinia scleriotiorum ('pink rot'), resulting in the production of the photosensitizing chemicals psoralen, 5-methoxypsoralen, and 8-methoxypsoralen.

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