Food safety research highlights plus IFT and Process Expo

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Research round-up and news from IFT and Process Expo
Research round-up and news from IFT and Process Expo

Related tags Food Microbiology

Cornell looking at phages, Washington State research into UVC light and Process Expo and IFT announcements feature in a round-up of food safety and quality control news.

University of California Berkeley work on a 3D printed ‘smart cap’ and University of Guelph recruitment news is also included.

Cornell researchers have examined bacteriophages (phages) an all-natural biological enemy for Listeria monocytogenes.

Research reveals a few genetic gaps in which Listeria can evade bacteriophages, but Cornell scientists believe the chromosomal fissures can be plugged with a phage cocktail.

Phages were approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2007 and protect foods, including meat and dairy products.

UVC light

Ultraviolet C (UVC) light has been shown to be effective against foodborne pathogens on the surface of certain fruits, according to scientists at Washington State University​.

Shyam Sablani and colleagues looked into alternatives to sanitizing options and looked at UVC light, which has a shorter wavelength than ultraviolet A or B light.

UVC light, which cannot penetrate opaque, solid objects, can be effective in sanitizing surfaces. It works on microorganisms by destroying nucleic acid and disrupting DNA.

Sablani and colleagues exposed apples, pears, strawberries, raspberries and cantaloupe to different doses of UVC to determine how effective it was against a mix of strains of E. coli and Listeria.

They found it could inactivate up to 99.9% of pathogens on apples and pears. However, Listeria was more UVC resistant than E. coli. The light didn’t affect the chemical or physical quality of the fruit.

The UVC light inactivated 90% of pathogens present on rough-surfaced fruit.

Engineers at the University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley) have created a 3D-printed 'smart cap' for milk cartons that detects signs of spoilage.

UC Berkeley engineers worked with colleagues at Taiwan’s National Chiao Tung University, expanding 3D printing technology to include electrical components, such as resistors, inductors, capacitors and integrated wireless electrical sensing systems – read more about this on our sister site DairyReporter​.

Process Expo presentation details

The Food Processing Suppliers Association (FPSA) revealed two of three sessions presented at Process Expo 2015 by experts from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will be on food safety and allergen control strategies.

“Food Safety Considerations for Cereal Based Products”​ and “Food Allergen Control Strategies​” will be presented by Dr Andreia Bianchini and Dr Joseph Baumert respectively on September 17.

Gil Williams, chairman of FPSA and president of Poly-clip System USA and Canada, said: “According to the CDC, food allergy cases among children have risen by approximately 50% over the past 15 years. Unfortunately, these cases continue to grow, putting the pressure on processors to control challenging situations.”

University of Guelph staff news

Jeff Farber will join the University of Guelph as a faculty member in Food Science.

In January 2016 he will also become director of the Centre for Research in Food Safety.

Farber was director of Health Canada’s Bureau of Microbial Hazards in 2008 during the Maple Leaf deli meat Listeria outbreak and worked at the agency for 30 years.

He has studied pathogens in dairy, produce, meat, fish and seafood, but has become interested in low-moisture foods.

“We used to think that things like peanut butter, spices, seeds and nuts were unlikely to be hazards. But now we are realizing that they can contain pathogens, too. There have been a number of outbreaks involving peanut butter, and we’ve recently seen Salmonella in a wide variety of tree nuts.”

He also wants to focus on improving understanding of Listeria; the potential for contamination of different types of nuts; novel inactivation strategies for pathogens in low-moisture foods; and the ecology of under-researched pathogens in fish and seafood.

IFT award winners

Aseptia Technologies and Ecolab were among the winners of the 2015 IFT Food Expo Innovation Award.

Aseptia Technologies won for its AseptiWave Modular Advanced Thermal Processing Systems, which use microwave-assisted advanced thermal processing to deliver product quality for aseptically packaged foods and beverages.

AseptiWave is a family of thermal processing systems with a built-in scale-up strategy and controllability at pilot plant (2–4 gal/min), intermediate (10–20 gal/min), and high (20–40 gal/min) industrial throughput levels.

Ecolab was honored for its DrySan Duo Two-Step, No-Rinse Cleaner & Sanitizer, designed for dry and low-moisture processing environments.

It reduces cleaning time by eliminating the use of rinse water between cleaning and sanitizing.

Plant trials using DrySan Duo showed an average 30% reduction in total cleaning time compared to traditional wet cleaning methods. 

Trials also demonstrated equivalent performance to traditional wet cleaning utilizing aerobic plate count and Enterobacteriacea test methods. 

Related topics Food safety & quality

Related news

Show more

Follow us


View more