How can you tell if a chicken piece is cooked? The color is a common way to know if a piece of chicken has been cooked. However, this method is not reliable.

Chicken is high in Salmonella as well as Campylobacter. These are the two most common causes of foodborne illness. Chicken meat contains these bacteria, so it is important to cook the chicken through.

Myoglobin (an oxygen-binding pigment similar to hemoglobin) is denatured and causes muscle tissue to change color. The color of chicken muscle is not as dramatic because it contains less myoglobin.

Another strain of Fusarium, called TR4, that kills many varieties, including Cavendish, is spreading into more and more nations. This fungus threatens food security and livelihoods in many places.

Kema, along with his colleagues, wondered if exposure of Cavendish bananas to TR1 could protect them from TR4. The team dunked young plants in a solution that contained various types of TR1 fungus. The team immersed the plants at different intervals, from 30 minutes up to 10 days afterward.

The team discovered that exposure to a specific strain of TR1 in Brazil could provide significant protection from TR4 for up to 10 days later.

Kema says, “Somehow, you’re activating a protection mechanism that protects TR4 plants as well.” “But this protection is temporary.”

He says that this protective effect was found in plants of other species. Because plants don’t have immune system cells that can remember pathogens, like animals, the product comes from switching on general protective mechanisms instead of specific ones resulting from a vaccination. The team is trying to figure out how to permanently activate these mechanisms without exposing bananas to live fungi.


The CRISPR technology has destroyed the virus that lurks in the banana genome

Kema says that even if this could be done or if other approaches, such as genetics engineering, were to be used, it would not solve the entire industry’s problem, especially since TR4 isn’t the only disease affecting the banana industry.

He says the main problem is that the world relies heavily on one variety of fruit. Cavendish bananas account for 95 percent of all exports and more than half of the total banana crop. All Cavendish bananas have the same genetic makeup because Cavendish is like most edible bananas. This makes the plantations more susceptible to disease.

Kema says that diversification is essential. The banana industry must invest in the development of new varieties that are tasty and resistant to disease. Supermarkets should stock them, and customers need to purchase them. Kema says that banana production is not sustainable at the moment.