Microbial Safety and Shelf-life Suite
Food safety is a pre-requisite to Ireland’s agri-food economic success and reputation and to sustaining and growing food exports. Extended shelf-life is needed to support new market access and consumer demand for minimally processed, healthy fresh foods. In order to tackle these industry challenges the Microbial Safety and Shelf-life Suite has been equipped with state-of-theart equipment and facilities. This dedicated biocontainment suite facilitates the development and validation of new innovative approaches to control microorganisms in PCF products and to assure microbial food safety using detection and characterisation technologies. The ability to validate safety and shelf-life using real food chain conditions facilitates a key step in the commercialisation process for new PCF products and processes.
Key Pieces of Equipment
- A range of process equipment (mincers/grinders/ mixers/smokers), packaging equipment (vacuum pack/vacuum skin pack/modified atmosphere), storage (temperature and humidity controlled chambers), cookers (microwave, sous-vide) and display (retail cabinets) in a biocontainment suite allowing research and validation on new controls and practices to manage key pathogens and spoilage microorganisms.
- Equipment to detect and characterise microorganisms in PCF foods include a flow cytometer (cell viability assessment) and MinION (a portable device for DNA and RNA sequencing and assessment of total microbial community in PCF products).
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