<ol> <li>Using chemical and physical techniques for surface modeling, identify and describe mechanisms of the attachment of pathogens to surfaces of poultry and of fruits and vegetables;
<li>Using chemical and physical techniques, evaluate the effects of inhibitors and disinfectants on food product surfaces; and
<li>Develop rapid methods for identifying pathogenic bacteria on food product surfaces using laser and thermal desorption mass spectroscopy and artifical neural network analysis. </ol>
Candidate molecules for inhibiting the attachment of pathogenic bacteria to surfaces of foods will be chosen from natural products and combinatorial libraries and from molecular modeling studies of surfaces. The effective- ness of disinfectants and inhibitors will be evaluated using surface bacterial assay techniques. Novel analytical methods for pathogen characterization using mass spectrometry will be developed using laser desorption and particle beam techniques and extended for use in complex sample matrixes with computer pattern classification methods.