An official website of the United States government.

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Computer-Aided Food Safety Engineering

Investigators
Datta, Ashim
Institutions
Cornell University
Start date
2004
End date
2007
Objective
  1. Develop versatile and robust process models (mathematical formulations) for computer simulation of several classes of food processes.
  2. Develop quantitative models of safety and quality that are readily usable in practice.
  3. Integrate process models, properties and parameter databases, and quantitative models of safety and quality into a predictive and design tool for food processing.
  4. Develop supplementary educational materials and programs to introduce and sustain this high-end tool to the largest possible group of food processors, regulators, educators and Extension specialists. Also develop food safety education materials using the tool. Disseminate through website and workshop.
More information
If we can predict the likelihood of an unsafe condition for food during processing or distribution, we can look for ways to prevent such situation before it happens. Such prediction, however, is difficult due to tremendous variation in the food types, how it is cooked, transported, stored, etc. >p> This project will exploit the advances in computer simulation to develop a tool for food science Extension workers, educators and researchers that will allow easy and accurate prediction of unsafe food situations.

We propose to develop the resources and the missing linkages between generic computer simulation tools and their use to improve food safety. Comprehensive, non-emperical models of a number of food processes will be developed. These models will be integrated with a large physical properties database, predictive microbiology knowledge base, and chemical safety database into a user-friendly tool for the entire food processing community. Synergy will be developed between programs at three different US universities, a National lab, a USDA lab, and three other university and research organizations in the UK, where some of the building blocks are being developed. Training material for widespread use of the software and food safety Extension material developed using the software will be additional deliverables.

Prediction of hazards is at the heart of food safety. Computer modeling techniques can provide a significant boost to food safety by making available predictive tools that could provide safety information for specific products, processing conditions and microorganisms through what-if-scenarios for unintended contamination and sabotage. We are developing the resources and the missing linkages between generic computer simulation tools and their use to improve food safety. Comprehensive, non-empirical models of a number of food processes are being developed, starting with the more complicated (and important) processes such as meat cooking that involves transport of liquid water and vapor along with shrinkage of the matrix. The governing equations are being reformulated so that they can be solved in commercial software. This will allow us to develop a generalized package with the least amount of effort. These models will be integrated with a large physical properties database, predictive microbiology knowledge base, and chemical safety database into a user-friendly tool for the entire food processing community.

A rational, comprehensive, quantitative, science-based and easy to use predictive tool would go a long way toward designing control measures in unintended contamination as well as sabotage, in production, processing, distribution and storage. Beneficiaries include food processors, Extension educators, university food science/engineering courses, food science researchers and ultimately the consumer at large.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
NYC-123578
Accession number
200065
Categories
Education and Training
Food Preparation and Handling
Parasites
Natural Toxins
Viruses and Prions
Bacterial Pathogens
Chemical Contaminants