Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Spoilt food soon a thing of the past?

Date:
August 20, 2011
Source:
The Research Council of Norway
Summary:
Unwanted bacteria, yeasts and molds can cause major problems for the food industry as well as consumers. Researchers have now developed new methods to identify potential sources of contamination. Using a spectrometer, the researchers are able to detect undesirable microorganisms in finished products and trace them back to the various steps in the production process.

Unwanted bacteria, yeasts and moulds can cause major problems for the food industry as well as consumers. Norwegian researchers have developed new methods to identify potential sources of contamination.

Microorganisms such as bacteria, yeasts and moulds can cause food spoilage and deterioration during food production. They could be lurking in the tubes that convey milk to cartons, lying in wait on the floor, or even floating in the air where sausages are being packaged. And they are poised to attack and contaminate our food at any time.

The food production chain is growing more and more complex -- which increases the risk of food going bad at some point during production.

New methods

Troubleshooting during production is the food industry's current approach, using observation and testing to locate the causes of food spoilage.

Now the participants at a research project carried out by the research institute Nofima Mat and packaging company Elopak have developed a more effective method of identifying infection sources that is faster and more economical to use.

Tracing microbes

Using a spectrometer, the researchers are able to detect undesirable microorganisms in finished products and trace them back to the various steps in the production process.

Scientists have long used Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy as a method of chemical analysis, and for the last two decades for identifying bacteria as well. The method can also detect all types of microorganisms in air, fluids and many other substances.

"But no one had so far used the method for identifying food contaminants," says Henri-Pierre Suso, a researcher at Elopak.

He headed a user-driven project that received funding under the Research Council's Food Programme: Norwegian Food from Sea and Land.

Fingerprinting the culprits

Researchers at Nofima Mat have taken spectral readings of various microbes collected from a wide variety of foods, including juice and milk. Each microbe has its own unique spectral profile, which functions much like a fingerprint and was used for identification purposes.

"In the project we developed a database of information about the samples, where we have stored approximately 20 000 spectral profiles of different microbes. We've also implemented sound laboratory routines to ensure the readings are reproducible," explains Mr Suso. "Whenever we found an unknown microbe, we took a spectral reading of it, then we compared its profile with those already entered in the database."

Low-cost solution

Mr Suso says there are currently a number of methods used for locating sources of contamination in the food industry, "but we are convinced that ours is the most cost-effective solution. It is a very precise and high-capacity method, with the additional advantage that technicians don't need to be specialists in mycology in order to identify the microorganisms."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Research Council of Norway. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Research Council of Norway. "Spoilt food soon a thing of the past?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110819081912.htm>.
The Research Council of Norway. (2011, August 20). Spoilt food soon a thing of the past?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 15, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110819081912.htm
The Research Council of Norway. "Spoilt food soon a thing of the past?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110819081912.htm (accessed September 15, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 15, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) — New conservation measures for shark fishing face an uphill PR battle in the fight to slow shark extinction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) — A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) — In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spinosaurus Could Be First Semi-Aquatic Dinosaur

Spinosaurus Could Be First Semi-Aquatic Dinosaur

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) — New research has shown that the Spinosaurus, the largest carnivorous dinosaur, might have been just as well suited for life in the water as on land. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins