Pathogen Combat work Package (WP) 12: "Control and prevention of emerging and future pathogens at cellular and molecular level throughout the food chain: Novel Processing Techniques"


-WP6 Leader: prof. dr. ir. Frank Devlieghere; -PhD student Msc. Nada Smigic

In response to consumer demands traditional ways of processing foods such as freezing and canning are being replaced by less drastic treatments. Such treatments include conventional mild heat treatments and treatment with organic acids, and novel treatments such as intense light pulses (ILP), high hydrostatic pressure or ClO2. When mild inactivation techniques are applied, incomplete inactivation and sublethal damage of the target organisms is often obtained, but by the application of suboptimal inhibiting factors, growth during preservation is prevented or further inactivation is promoted. On the other hand, there is a concern about the fact that the application of sublethal stress factors could induce (cross) resistance mechanisms in the surviving population and thus could lead to the selection of resistant microorganisms.
The objective of this research project is to create insight in the development of stress resistance and/or virulence in pathogenic bacteria due to minimal processing. This knowledge will be used to identify appropriate combinations bactericidal techniques and inhibiting factors to control the microbial safety of minimally processed food products, and to minimize the risk of the introduction of pathogenic strains with an increased stress resistance and virulence.
Pathogens that will be dealt within the framework of WP12 are gram positive Listeria monocytogenes and Mycobacterium avium subsp. Paratuberculosis, Gram negative Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Campylobacter jejuni; and two viruses (HEV and TBEV). Within our Laboratory direct work will be performed on L. monocytogenes, E. coli O157:H7 and C. jejuni. In addition to this, facilities and know-how for experimental setup regarding M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis and two viruses will be provided to our Partners in Pathogen Combat.


April 1, 2006 - April 1, 2010


Lab work
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