Dr. Amalaradjou's research primarily focuses on food safety and gut health. Specifically, her research is targeted toward understanding pathogen survival and persistence along the food chain, their virulence attributes, and the application of probiotics to control foodborne pathogens. She also studies the efficacy of currently applied intervention (hurdle) technologies to reduce pathogen transmission during pre- and post-harvest processing of fresh produce, meat, and dairy products. Beyond controlling pathogens in food systems, her research also investigates the potential application of probiotics and functional foods in the prevention and treatment of gut pathologies.
Through all aspects of her research, Dr. Amalaradjou's main objective is to improve food safety and promote public health. Her research program is funded by intramural (UConn Research Excellence Program and Storrs Agricultural Experimental Stations- USDA NIFA HATCH) and extramural funding agencies including the Center for Produce Safety, USDA, NSF, and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture.
Areas of Expertise (8)
University of Connecticut: Ph.D., Animal Science 2010
Area of Concentration: Food Microbiology
University of Connecticut: M.S., Animal Science 2009
Indian Veterinary Research Institute: M.S., Animal Biochemistry 2004
Pondicherry University: D.V.M., Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry 2002
Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Veterinary Education and Research (RIVER)
2016 FFAR New Innovator Award Winner (professional)
New Innovator in Nutrition and Healthy Food Choices - Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research 2016
Media Appearances (6)
Peaches Recalled Nationwide After 101 Sickened, 17 Hospitalized Across North America
There are numerous points along any supply chain where fruits and vegetables can be infected with illness-causing bacteria. This can happen anywhere from farm fields, where animal feces can spread disease to produce; to processing plants that fail to properly sanitize equipment; to one’s own home, where raw meat or eggs can cross-contaminate with other groceries, said Mary Anne Amalaradjou, an associate professor of food microbiology at the University of Connecticut “All of these factors can play a role in how salmonella can get into food and how it gets into us,” she said. In the past, Amalardjou has studied this particular outbreak strain and its ability to survive in mangos, finding that Salmonella Enteritidis can stay alive inside fruit for multiple days, and can remain on surfaces even after washing.
Cinnamon for Urinary Tract Infections
Live Strong online
August 2017 A 2010 study in the "Journal of Urology" looked at trans-cinnamaldehyde as a possible antibacterial agent against hospital urinary catheter infections. The bacteria most responsible to urinary tract infections, E. coli, was the infective agent used for the laboratory test. According to lead author Mary Anne Amalaradjou, graduate student in the Department of Animal Science at the University of Connecticut, cinnamaldehyde prevented the growth of E. coli and had no toxic effects on bladder cells. A 1996 study reported in the "American Journal of Chinese Medicine" conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Brooklyn tested cinnamon against fluconazole-resistant candida...
RESEARCH PROJECT: UNDERSTANDING NUTRITION THROUGH BIOMICS
Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research print
Take a peek inside the lab of microbiologist Mary Anne Roshni Amalaradjou, Ph.D., an assistant professor at University of Connecticut and 2016 FFAR New Innovator Award Winner. We set out to discover what Dr. Amalaradjou is working on and how her work will impact food science. What are your research interests? I’m a microbiologist and I’m really into bugs – not the creepy crawly ones, but the ones you can’t see. I’m especially interested in addressing foodborne illnesses and how probiotics can improve gut health. There is a complex relationship between our bodies, disease, and foodborne illnesses. Microbiology is a fascinating area where you can study how the body responds to different pathogens and how gut health can impact overall health...
US: Trials aim to shed light on wash-water disinfectants for mangoes
Fresh Produce Safety Centre online
But there’s little, if any, published literature that examines those same interactions in a mango packing facility, said Mary Anne Amalaradjou, DVM, PhD, and an assistant professor of animal science at the University of Connecticut in Storrs...
Mango study evaluates wash water disinfectants
The Packer online
The research by Mary Anne Amalaradjou, assistant professor of animal science at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, is funded by the National Mango Board and the Center for Produce Safety. Amalaradjou is examining the impact of disinfectants on salmonella transfer...
A Closer Look - Trials aim to shed light on wash-water
Center for Produce Safety online
Several studies have been published that examine the interactions among water, disinfectants, organic matter and pathogens with various types of produce in packinghouse wash water. But there’s little, if any, published literature that examines those same interactions in a mango packing facility, said Mary Anne Amalaradjou, DVM, PhD, and an assistant professor of animal science at the University of Connecticut in Storrs...
Research Grants (5)
Early and sustained application of probiotics to promote growth, gut microbiome establishment and intestinal function in broiler chicken
USDA SAES Capacity Grant
NE1442: Poultry production systems and well-being: sustainability for tomorrow
USDA SAES Multistate Research Project
Improving the microbiological safety of sprouts
Listeria monocytogenes growth and survival on peaches and nectarines as influenced by stone fruit packing house operations, storage and transportation conditions
Understanding nutrition through biomics
FFAR New Innovator Award
Oral supplementation of trans‐cinnamaldehyde reduces uropathogenic Escherichia coli colonization in a mouse modelLetters in Applied Microbiology
2017 Urinary tract infections (UTIs) in the United States result in more than 7 million hospital visits per year. Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) is responsible for more than 80% of UTIs. Although antibiotics are the drug of choice to control UTIs, their repeated use has resulted in the emergence of antibiotic‐resistant UPEC. Thus, there is a need for effective alternate strategies to control UPEC infections. This study investigated the efficacy of trans‐cinnamaldehyde (TC), a food‐grade molecule present in cinnamon, in reducing UPEC colonization and pathogenesis in the lower UTI. Female C57BL/6 mice (6–8 weeks old) were fed ad libitum with 0, 0·1, 0·2 and 0·4% TC containing mouse chow for 10 days. Following TC supplementation, animals were experimentally infected with UPEC by transurethral catheterization. Mice were euthanized on days 1, 2 and 4 postinfection, and the bladder, urethra and urine were collected for bacterial enumeration. Prophylactic TC supplementation significantly (P ≤ 0·05) reduced UPEC colonization in the urinary bladder and urethra compared to the control. Results indicate that TC could potentially be used as an oral supplement to control UPEC‐associated lower UTIs, however, follow‐up clinical trials are warranted.
Chapter One - Antivirulence Properties of Probiotics in Combating Microbial PathogenesisAdvances in Applied Microbiology
2017 Probiotics are nonpathogenic microorganisms that confer a health benefit on the host when administered in adequate amounts. Ample evidence is documented to support the potential application of probiotics for the prevention and treatment of infections. Health benefits of probiotics include prevention of diarrhea, including antibiotic-associated diarrhea and traveler's diarrhea, atopic eczema, dental carries, colorectal cancers, and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. The cumulative body of scientific evidence that demonstrates the beneficial effects of probiotics on health and disease prevention has made probiotics increasingly important as a part of human nutrition and led to a surge in the demand for probiotics in clinical applications and as functional foods.
Controlling the Graphene–Bio Interface: Dispersions in Animal Sera for Enhanced Stability and Reduced ToxicityAmerican Chemical Society
2017 Liquid phase exfoliation of graphite in six different animal sera and evaluation of its toxicity are reported here. Previously, we reported the exfoliation of graphene using proteins, and here we extend this approach to complex animal fluids. A kitchen blender with a high-turbulence flow gave high quality and maximum exfoliation efficiency in all sera tested, when compared to the values found with shear and ultrasonication methods. Raman spectra and electron microscopy confirmed the formation of three- or four-layer, submicrometer size graphene, independent of the serum used. Graphene prepared in serum was directly transferred to cell culture media without post-treatments. Contrary to many reports, a nanotoxicity study of this graphene fully dispersed to human embryonic kidney cells, human lung cancer cells, and nematodes.
Antimicrobial Food Additives and Disinfectants: Mode of Action and Microbial Resistance MechanismsFood Borne Pathogens and Antibiotic Resistance
2017 Beyond the need for microbial control in human and animal medicine, there exists a significant requirement for pathogen exclusion in the food industry. In this regard, the food industry has been using a variety of non‐antibiotic based antimicrobials, including additives and disinfectants for controlling foodborne spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms. In fact, some of these antimicrobial additives such as salt, nitrites and sulfites have been in use for 50–100 years. Despite the long history of usage of non‐-antibiotic antimicrobials in foods, there is little information on the development of microbial resistance to these antimicrobials (Davidson and Harrison, 2002). However, increasing incidence of antibiotic resistance among pathogens and the reliance on non‐antibiotic based antimicrobials as major hurdles to microorganisms in foods raise concerns over the potential for development of microbial resistance to these non‐antibiotics.
Inactivation of Acinetobacter baumannii biofilms on polystyrene, stainless steel, and urinary catheters by octenidine dihydrochlorideFrontiers in Microbiology
2016 Acinetobacter baumannii is a major nosocomial pathogen causing human infections with significant mortality rates. In most cases, infections are acquired through exposure to A. baumannii biofilms that persist on contaminated hospital equipment and surfaces. Thus, it is imperative to develop effective measures for controlling A. baumannii biofilms in nosocomial settings. This study investigated the efficacy of octenidine dihydrochloride (OH), a new generation disinfectant for reducing A. baumannii biofilms on polystyrene, stainless steel and catheters. OH at 0.3% (5 mM), 0.6% (10 mM) and 0.9% (15 mM) was effective in significantly inactivating A. baumannii biofilms on all tested surfaces (P