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Alternative Food Processing Technologies

Sommers, Christopher; Sheen, Shiowshuh; Rajkowski, Kathleen
USDA - Agricultural Research Service
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The overall goal of this project is to enhance seafood safety, with special emphasis on catfish, through the development of new technologies and new original scientific information.

The specific objectives are as follows:
1. Develop and validate models to simulate pathogen behavior under both growth and inactivation conditions.
2. Develop and validate non-thermal and advanced thermal intervention technologies to inactivate pathogens and spoilage microorganisms in raw and ready-to-eat seafood and aquaculture products, in particular, catfish.
3. Define the impact of non-thermal and advanced thermal intervention technologies on food quality and chemistry.

It is expected that Objective 1 will contribute to the overall goal of this project through the development of new robust foodborne pathogen growth models that will aid regulatory agencies in their risk assessments and science-based policy decisions. Objectives 2 and 3 will contribute through the development of intervention technologies, which at the same time will enhance, or at the minimum, preserve the original product quality.

More information
The incidence of foodborne illness associated with the consumption of contaminated seafood is disproportionately high. This project constitutes a comprehensive research effort to enhance seafood safety, with special emphasis on catfish. This will be accomplished through:
1) developing robust foodborne pathogen growth models to aid risk assessors in regulatory agencies in science-based policy decisions, 2) developing effective intervention technologies, and 3) enhance or, at the minimum, preserve seafood-quality. Intervention technologies to be investigated include flash pasteurization, pulsed and ultraviolet light, and ionizing (gamma) irradiation, electrolyzed water, modified atmosphere packaging, and GRAS food additives, etc. These interventions will be combined to obtain incremental improvements in microbial inactivation, the so-called hurdle to maximize foodborne pathogen inactivation. Food quality evaluation, studies will be conducted on the seafood subjected to various intervention methods to identify those technologies, which in addition to being effective in inactivating pathogens, are simultaneously neutral or even improve product quality.
Funding Source
Agricultural Research Service
Project source
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Policy and Planning
Bacterial Pathogens
Risk Assessment, Management, and Communication