The project at a glance

The five Ws and one H (essential questions when gathering information)
What?
This is a three-year project for the "Development of models and efficient numerical tools for the control of bacterial RESISTANCE to antimicrobials in the food industry". The idea is funded by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness in collaboration with the European Regional Development Fund.
Why?
Resistance of bacteria to antimicrobials is a current concern in Europe and world-wide as is stressed by the scientific community and contemplated in different regulations. As a result, the food industry has become over-conservative in applying biocide treatments. While the use of new technologies such as active packaging could reduce the use of biocides, further research is needed in this area and currently their application is very limited in the industry. Nevertheless, despite the high concentrations of biocides generally used, studies in food factories have detected persistent and resistant strains of microorganisms, which will decrease the effectiveness of future biocide-treatments. Moreover, these resistant bacteria could potentially contaminate food and not only reduce its shelf-life, but also contribute to increase the resistance to antibiotics, which is one of the main concerns in medical research. As a consequence, the food industry should start considering biocide-resistance in their risk assessment and management procedures.
How?

The development of new software to detect and control risk probability of bacterial infection and resistance may contribute substantially to risk assessment and management, resulting in safer and healthier food products. In addition, these techniques are tested on different case studies of interest for the food industry. An example is the optimization of the shellfish depuration process. Last but not least, resulting models of biocide-resistance could contribute to the understanding of antibiotic resistance, which has wide implications in the treatment of infectious diseases.

Who?
Principal Investigator: Míriam R. García1
In collaboration with: Marta López Cabo2, Eva Balsa Canto1 and Antonio A. Alonso1
Where?
1Bioprocess Engineering Group and 2 Microbiology and Technology of Marine products. IIM - CSIC, Vigo Spain
When?
Starting 16 October 2015.

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Last updated: 25-05-2018 by Míriam R. García