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Research Call

DAFM Reference


DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2013 13/F/423 UCD (Teagasc) €604,308

Project Title:

Systems microbiology applied to the reduction and control of bacterial transmission in the powdered infant formula (PIF) production environment - towards scientifically validated improvements in food safety

Project Coordinator:

Prof Séamus Fanning

Project Abstract

The powder infant formula (PIF) industry is a high-added value sector utilising an increasing fraction of the manufacturing milk produced in Ireland. This sector requires the supply of raw milk of high microbiological quality, as the basis of the final food product. Not only is the microbial quality of the milk of importance, the status of the production environment is equally important. UCD-CFS and Danone have been monitoring the production environment for the presence of Cronobacter species. The microbiome of the environment microflora and how it can influence this production environment is unknown. In particular the environmental cues, leading to adaptation of bacteria in this ecological niche remain to be determined. In this programme, the base-line microbiome of a PIF production site will be determined. Bacterial phyla will be described, based on a dedicated sampling plan including temporal and geographical comparisons. Following sorting of the microbial populations, metagenomics and metatranscriptomics, will provide insights into the population-level dynamics of this environment. Systems microbiology network connections will be identified. Risk analysis will interrogate these data streams as a strategy for improved biological-based control of the production environment. Research outputs will be translated in terms of improvements in food safety and brand protection.

Final Report:

Not available yet.