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Improvement of food safety applied biosensors by protein engineering

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Determination of the histamine content is of paramount importance for the food industry as a parameter of the hygienic quality and freshness of food, as well as to prevent scombroid fish poisoning, an allergy-like food poisoning. At present, more sensitive and user-friendly methods for histamine monitoring are needed to early detect products and raw materials susceptible of becoming hazardous for consumers. BIOIMPROVE aims to develop an improved and highly sensitive portable biosensing device for the quantification of histamine in the lower concentration range (<5 mg/l). To reach this objective, an innovative and powerful semi-rational protein engineering strategy will be used to maximize the sensitivity of the currently available histamine enzyme-based biosensor. Rather than addressing this goal by the generation and screening of large libraries, a careful selection of the most promising mutational hotspots will be performed using the structural available information in tandem with advanced computational modelling tools. Dr. Gangoiti will carry out BIOIMPROVE project at BIOLAN Microbiosensores, a Spanish SME focused on the development of biosensors capable of detecting health and food-related molecules. To support her research, she will conduct a secondment at CIC bioGUNE, a research centre that has a strong reputation in protein computational design. Thanks to this multidisciplinary research environment, Dr. Gangoiti will have the opportunity of gaining not only a high level of complementary expertise in areas of key importance in the enzyme technology field, but also the competences required for pursuing a successful research career either in industry or academy. Most importantly, the implementation of BIOIMPROVE project is expected to ensure histamine contamination to be identified at all stages of the food chain, ultimately guaranteeing food safety for European consumers.
Funding Source
European Commission
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Natural Toxins
Bacterial Pathogens