QUAFETY meeting on Tacler, 25 July 2014

As also anticipated through FreshPlaza (read here), the scientists of EU project Quafety had a meeting on the tacler platform (www.tacler.com) on Friday 25th July 2014 from 2.00 to 3.00 (GMT+2 or 2 pm Rome Time), to discuss some topics that are studying within the project.

Scientists of Cardiff University (UK), especially Dr Hilary Rogers  spoke of SMELLING SHELF LIFE: USING VOLATILES TO ASSESS QUALITY AND SHELF-LIFE.

A brief summary of the meeting content follows.

Dr Rogers explained that her research group is developing an easy to use system for assessing product quality and safety. As part of an assessment of input quality, effects of processing, or shelf life, this system enables you to collect volatile compounds with an easy to use collection system operated by minimally trained staff. You can then receive information on the relative quality of the product or markers for possible contamination with pathogens within a few days. The time limitation is dependent on transport of collection tubes to the laboratory; results from the analysis can be available within hours.

Quality. The scientists have been focusing on two crops: cantaloupe melons and rocket salad analysing the effects of storage temperature regimes, time of storage and effects of processing on volatile compound profiles. They are currently narrowing down the complex volatile profiles to a small number of marker compounds that change in relation to these parameters. They are now working with companies to verify the robustness of our markers with commercial samples.

Safety. Working with experimental inoculations of Listeria monocytogenes (pathogen associated with chilled foods), the scientists have identified small groups of compounds that could be diagnostic of contamination with this pathogen. This method is much faster than the standard culturing methods. We are currently assessing the sensitivity of our system and verifying our markers using commercial samples.

The meeting was concluded successfully and a report is available on FresPlaza at the following link