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National Center for Electron Beam Research, Food Safety

Investigators
Pillai, Suresh
Institutions
Texas A&M University
Start date
2009
End date
2010
Objective
  1. The E-Beam Center will provide E-Beam and X-ray electronic pasteurization resource for researchers from academia, government, and industry from around the United States.
  2. The E-Beam Center will study the inactivation of a key food-borne pathogen such as Hepatitis A (HAV) virus on fresh-cut produce such as lettuce and spinach.
  3. The Center for Food Safety will study the survival and possible growth of bacterial pathogens such as Salmonella on produce such as hot peppers.
  4. The Center for Food Safety will study the efficacy of sanitizer treatments for disinfection of hot peppers.
  5. The NCEBR will train graduate students in using E-Beam and X-ray for food safety, whereas the Center for Food Safety will train graduate students on methods for improving the safety of fresh produce.
  6. Partnerships will be built with investigators from academia, industry and government agencies to secure additional resources for research, teaching, and outreach activities.
More information
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: The overall objective of this proposal is to support the activities at the National Center for Electron Beam Research (NCEBR) and the Center for Food Safety at Texas A&M University. The NCEBR serves as an un-biased venue for academic, government, and industry scientists to carry out strategic electronic pasteurization and sterilization research using electron beam (E-beam) and X-rays. The Center for Food Safety at Texas A&M University is involved in a variety of projects aimed at promoting food safety. The NCEBR is a one-of-a-kind research facility with E-beam and X-ray capability on the Texas A&M University campus in College Station, Texas. This Special Research grant application is aimed at synergizing the activities of the two centers to make a significant impact on the safety of fresh cut produce in the United States.The NCEBR will serve as a "core-facility" to host investigators to conduct research projects at the facility. The focus of the studies will be to advance our current understanding of the susceptibility of key enteric viruses to high energy E-beam and x-ray. We will study the survival and possible growth of bacterial pathogens such as Salmonella on produce such as hot peppers. Graduate students will be trained in addressing contemporary issues in food safety such evaluating the effectiveness of sanitizers on disinfecting jalapeno peppers and understanding the survival kinetics of pathogens on the surfaces of fresh fruit and produce commodities.

APPROACH: 1. The concept is that the National Center for Electron Beam Research at Texas A&M University given its one of a kind equipment and instrument infrastructure will act as a focal point for research, education, training and outreach activities related to the electronic pasteurization and its applications to foods, fresh produce, agricultural products as well as other materials. The Center will seek to enhance its visibility and continue to attract and host investigators from academia, industry and government. 2. The focus of Objective # 2 will be to advance our current understanding of the susceptibility of key enteric viruses to high energy E-beam and x-ray. In addition to determining the inactivation kinetics, studies will also be performed to determine whether sensory attributes of the produce are affected at doses required to achieve virus inactivation. 3. The focus of Objective 3 will be to test the effect of temperature on the ability of Salmonella Saintpaul or a cocktail of Salmonella isolates to survive and grow on jalapeno peppers 4. The focus of Objective # 4 will be to determine the benefit of produce disinfection as one or more hurdles in the production chain of hot peppers where at least one hurdle is recommended at each link in this chain. 5. A key focus of Objective # 5 is the training of graduate students to address the contemporary issues facing the nation in terms of food safety. 6. The resources of the Center will be leveraged to secure additional funding from private, federal and state sources to pursue research and outreach activities. The Center will actively seek out researchers from across the United States and overseas to promote the use of the Center's facilities and infrastructure and advance the field of electronic pasteurization.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
TEX09369
Accession number
218446
Categories
Parasites
Natural Toxins
Viruses and Prions
Bacterial Pathogens
Chemical Contaminants
Salmonella
Education and Training