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Research Call

DAFM Reference

Lead(Collaborating)Institution

DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2014 14/F/845 UCD, (DCU, Teagasc) €879,348

Project Title:

Application of novel food processing and microanalytical technologies to identify and control spores, in dried food ingredients, and of biofilms in food processing environments-a systems microbiology approach to ensuring quality and safety

Project Coordinator:

Dr Amalia Scannell

Project Abstract

Dried Food Ingredients (DFI) e.g. flour, herbs & spices, chocolate and milk powders are widely in domestic, culinary and commercial ready-to-eat product contexts globally. This product category is often contaminated with sporeformers, mould and some enteric pathogens. Control of these bacteria in DFI, and biofilms on food processing surfaces is a considerable challenge to the food industry. In this programme, the base-line microbiome of two baked products production sites, including key DFI will be determined. Bacterial phyla, will be described, using dedicated sampling plans including temporal and geographical comparisons. Microbial population sorting using conventional techniques followed by, metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analysis will provide insights into population-level dynamics of this environment. Microbes with anti-biofilm/ antisporulation activities will be sought to provide a natural control of biofilms and spores in DFI and baked goods contexts and novel food processing technologies will also be evaluated as new HACCP control steps. The effect of these technologies on gene expression of virulence and quorum sensing factors will be assessed. Comprehensive Risk Analysis will interrogate data streams to evolve improved strategy for microbiological control in the production environment. Research outputs will have a significant impact on the food safety improvements of DFI and consequent brand protection.

Final Report:

Not available yet.