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Posts tagged ‘Research News’

Institute of Food Technologists Launches Global Food Traceability Center

The Global Food Traceability Center will serve all aspects of the food system by generating knowledge that addresses research gaps, and delivering applied research, objective advice, and practical expertise about food product traceability and data collaboration for private benefit and public good.

Through its work, the Center will provide the means to accelerate the adoption and implementation of practical traceability solutions across the global food system. It will also deliver support services that help to increase understanding of food traceability across the following business platforms:

  • Research
  • Protocols and Standards
  • Education and Training
  • Technology Transfer

To find out more, click here.

Emerging Pathogens: E. Coli O104:H4

A strain of E. coli known as O104:H4, made worldwide headlines when an outbreak in Germany in May 2011, sickened approximately 4,000 people and killed 50.

This event, linked to fresh sprouts, quickly became the deadliest foodborne illness outbreak in history.

It had evolved from a type of E. coli known to be harmless enteroaggregative E. coli and had acquired the genes to produce Shiga toxin from more virulent strains known as enterohemorrhagic E. coli.

Microbiological research laboratories around the globe began pooling resources to coordinate the world’s first “open source” analysis of a microbial genome. In turn, this spurred an unprecedented level of focused study by international collaborators that is still going on two years later.

Like other enteroaggregative E. coli strains, O104:H4 groups together in defensive brick patterns within a host’s intestines, inducing mucus production that both shields and feeds it. Combine that with the ability to produce Shiga toxin, and O104: H4 possesses the right cocktail of genes to become especially harmful in an outbreak.

To read the full article on Food Safety News, click here.

Pathogen-busting films created with high flavanol cocoa

Researchers have created antimicrobial packaging films containing high flavanol cocoa extracts that they say inhibits the growth of pathogens like listeria, E-coli and salmonella in food products.

This could have wide spread appeal across the food industry. This particular research by Catalayud and her team developed the film and tested it in an infant  formula package against various food born illnesses. The research was published in the journal Food Chemistry.

To read more about this article, written by Oliver Nieburg, click here.

Center for Produce Safety Research Findings Now Online

New resources translating current research from the Center for Produce Safety (CPS) into practical applications for individual food safety programs are now online and openly available to all industry members. These tools distill the 16 CPS-funded research programs discussed at the 2013 Center for Produce Safety Produce Research Symposium held June 25-26 and the 2013 Fresh Connections: Food Safety Highlights event that followed June 27, both at the Wegmans Conference Center in Rochester, N.Y.

“Translating science-based research on produce safety into real-world application for industry members’ own food safety programs is what the CPS, its annual symposium and these online tools are all about,” said Dr. Bob Whitaker, Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Chief Science & Technology Officer. “By making this information widely available in everyday language, we are able to more effectively leverage data to improve food safety programs and close gaps in industry’s food safety efforts.”

Online tools available at PMA.com include:

  • 2013 CPS Symposium: 10 Lessons Learned – an insider’s guide on the symposium’s key findings authored by Dr. Whitaker and PMA Vice President of Food Safety & Technology Dr. Jim Gorny.
  • 2013 Fresh Connections: Food Safety Highlights presentations – eight recorded PowerPoint presentations led by Drs. Whitaker and Gorny. In addition to outlining the basics behind current CPS data, these presentations also look at some of the research’s implications relative to the Food Safety Modernization Act and current pending proposed rules.

Many of the key lessons noted in the guide and presentations will also be the subject of a series of podcasts PMA will be adding to its resource library over the next few months. The podcasts will feature Drs. Whitaker and Gorny along with PMA Director Food Safety & Technology Johnna Hepner and will be available through www.pma.com. The full technical reports for the 16 research programs presented during the 2013 CPS Produce Research Symposium can be found on the CPS website at www.cps@ucdavis.edu

10 Lessons Learned at the 2013 CPS Symposium

The Center for Produce Safety (CPS) held its fourth annual research symposium in Rochester, NY at the Wegmans Conference Center on June 25-26, 2013. The symposium featured sixteen CPS-funded research programs and discussions on what the research means. While the full technical reports for these research programs can be found on the CPS website, PMA’s Dr. Bob Whitaker, chief science and technology officer, and Dr. Jim Gorny, vice president food safety and technology, translated the research to identify ten key lessons learned from the symposium.

2013 CPS Symposium: 10 Lessons Learned

2013 CPS Research Symposium resources now available

A number of resources from the 4th annual Center for Produce Safety Research Symposium have now been made available via the CPS website:

  • Symposium presentations including one by Bill Marler – “The Evolving Legal and Financial Realities of Produce Food Safety: What it means for you”- CPS website. See the full list of Resources
  • Final reports, CPS funded research – CPS website; Awards list . Reports are noted on right hand side of the page.
  • CPS 2013 Research Posters – CPS website; Poster Sessions

Stay tuned for the key learnings from the event.

Message from the CPS Research Symposium: Safe food is a commitment from all businesses.

When it comes to food safety, solutions are usually common-sense best practices and without absolute commitment from top management, no company in the fresh produce supply chain can achieve adequate food safety measures. 

That was the key message of the fourth annual CPS Research Symposium, recently held in Rochester, NY. Approximately 3o0 attendees took part in 2 days of presentations and panel discussions with experts from government, fresh produce companies and academia offered on-the-spot interpretation of the food safety research.

“The search for answers to food safety questions is not just the right thing to do, it is the best risk management tool we have,” said Bryan Silbermann, president and chief executive officer for the Produce Marketing Association, Newark, Del.

Seattle attorney,  Bill Marler commented in his keynote address to the delegates of the conference “When you’re doing the right thing for your business, it’s right for your customers. When it’s right for your customers it’s good for your business.”

The Symposium covered a huge range of topics, the first day dedicated to Listeria. Also covered was research on compost and agricultural practices, water quality for irrigation and post harvest practices, pathogen transference in pre-harvest, harvest and packing procedures and much more!

The research presented at the Symposium will be made available on the CPS website very soon.

To read more about what happened, watch short interviews from the Symposium and find out a bit more about some of the research, please click on the articles below.

The Grower: CPS research runs the gamut from compost to UV light, includes video.

The Grower: Rapid tests under development improve pathogen testing

The Packer: Food safety requires commitment throughout supply chain

SURVEY RESULTS: Does the Industry need a Fresh Produce Safety Centre?

A primary objective for FPS A&NZ was to scope out the feasibility for a dedicated body to identify research needs and provide appropriate food safety solutions for the Australian fresh produce Industry.

FPS A&NZ has made strong progress towards this objective and it was decided to survey the industry to determine the level of support for the establishment of a Fresh Produce Safety Centre. The survey was sent to the entire list of individuals who have registered to receive regular newsletters from FPS A&NZ, representing a large range of sectors in the fresh produce industry.

The survey contained questions aimed at gauging  industry’s in-principle support for the establishment of a Fresh Produce Safety Centre; whether the University of Sydney was an appropriate ‘base’ for the Centre; what should be the overarching role of the Centre; and what were the priorities for food safety research.

From the responses, there was overwhelming support, in principle, for the establishment of a Fresh Produce Safety Centre (98%) and for it to be “housed” at the University of Sydney (95%).

The survey also revealed that the role of the proposed Centre was to call and manage research in food safety and importantly to provide industry wide education and information and news on fresh produce safety, while representing the industry on regulatory matters was the most unpopular role for the Centre.  Results like this provide information that will assist in ensuring that the roles of other organisations will not be duplicated.

Research priorites needed to address the gaps in knowledge in food safety covers a wide variety of areas, but the top three topics as chosen by the respondents were Microbial contamination on-farm followed by topics Pathogens in the postharvest supply chain and Water – Postharvest.

The survey unequivocally indicated that there is widespread support for the establishment of a Fresh Produce Safety Centre for the whole fresh fruit and vegetable industries that will identify and conduct industry-driven research projects and provide valuable information, education and outreach on all aspects of fresh produce safety.

Download the full survey report here.

Third FPSANZ monthly newsletter out now!

The third edition of the Fresh Produce Safety Australia & New Zealand newsletter has just been released!

In this edition:

  • Introducing the FPS A&NZ Technical Committee
  • FPS A&NZ hosting Food Safety Hub at PMA Fresh Connections!
  • What happened at the Freshcare Workshop? Find out from the team.
  • “What’s new in Food Safety for you?” Presentation available.

…and more!

Click here to check out the newsletter.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in the Fresh Produce Safety community by signing up for the monthly newsletter.

Introducing the FPSANZ Technical Committee, 2013.

The FPS Technical Committee has been formed to collaborate with the Center for Produce Safety at UC Davis to review the research proposals submitted by the Australian research community.

The objective of the research is to provide the produce industry with practical, translatable research data that can be used at all levels throughout the supply chain and the FPS Technical Committee is well equipped to review the submissions.

The research proposals will address two major research priorities, which were identified at the industry Fresh Produce Safety Forum in November 2012: Compost, Soil Amendment Fertiliser Use, and Cultivation Practices; and Agricultural Water.

The 2013 FPS Technical Committee includes:

  • (Chair) Professor Les Copeland, Professor of Agriculture,Faculty of Agriculture and Environment University of Sydney (NSW)
  • Dr Andreas Klieber, Agriculture Policy Manager, Coles-Wesfarmers (Vic)
  • Dr David Miles, Senior Technical Officer, NSW Food Authority (NSW)
  • Mr Scott Ledger, Senior Horticulturist (Postharvest), Hort VC Group (Qld)
  • Mr Richard Bennett, Product Integrity Manager, Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) (Vic)
  • Mrs Allison Clark, General Manager for Marketing, Houston’s Farm (Tas).

For more details on the Committee, please download their profiles.