The goal of this project will be to improve the teaching, research and outreach programs of Washington State University in the areas of food safety outlined above with the development of high quality, safe food in the US and in countries with emerging economies being an important overall objective. <P>
CRIS support will be leveraged to obtain grant funding for support of research in the areas listed here: <OL> <LI> Methods to monitor microbial growth and quality parameters in foods<LI> Evaluate combination treatments such as additives, films, thermal processing and other technologies to maintain and improve food safety<LI> Conduct needs assessments for food processing and agribusiness within a region, focusing on the products and commodities with the greatest market potential, and which also provide opportunities for business development<LI> Assist organizations to establish food safety laws, regulations, guidance, and quality standards consistent with international law and prevailing market standards.
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: The important long term goals of this project are to improve food safety and quality and to assist agribusiness development through improvements in the value chain, including addressing legal and regulatory policy issues that could improve the safety, value and economic viability of food processing businesses here and abroad. This research should open new collaborative opportunities between WSU and other institutions in the USA and internationally. Public welfare will be advanced by improving food safety on a number of different fronts including new methods for detection of food borne illness, developments in packaging and processing technologies that will enhance product safety, improvements to the distribution system and reduction of non-tariff trade barriers that negatively impact companies. As the volume and type of imported foods increases and as the trade in food becomes increasingly globalized, this integrated approach to food science research becomes increasingly important.
APPROACH: A) Research into methods for monitoring microbial growth and quality parameters in foods, with a focus on spectroscopic methods and development of new sampling protocols; B) Evaluating combinations of treatments such as additives, edible films, thermal processing and other technologies to maintain and improve food safety; C) Conduct needs assessments for food processing and agribusiness within a region or for a country, focusing on the products and commodities with the greatest market potential, and which also provide opportunities for small business development; and D) Assist organizations to establish food safety laws and quality standards and guidance consistent with international law and prevailing market standards.