Each partner in the project was given responsibility for specified species of organisms. Each was charged with assessing available isolation/identification and enumeration methods, and developing and improving where necessary to ensure robust procedures were available at species level. Partners were further required to develop molecular biology methods for identification at strain level. Validation of the methods using feed samples was carried out in three separate exercises involving from 17 to 21 participants in each instance. Molecular biology methods for typing focussed on PFGE and PCR as the preferred methods. Ring-testing was undertaken by partners (and a limited number of specialised reference laboratories) by analysing blind samples containing authorised strains.
Council Directive 70/524/EEC concerning additives in feeds regulates the use of probiotic micro-organisms in animal feedingstuffs. At the outset of the project, some 11 genera of bacteria, three yeast and one mould were approved for temporary use within specified Member States, according to the Official Journal of the European Communities (11.9.96 No C263/3).
The project aims to collaborate with partners within the EU. The aim is to develop and validate methods for enumeration and identification of authorised probiotics at strain level in feedingstuffs. Specifically the work in the UK aims to cover identification and enumeration of authorised yeasts in a range of different animal feeds. It will also present the precision data derived from collaborative validation studies for enumeration methods for Bacillus spp., Lactobacillus spp., Bifidobacterium spp., Pediococcus spp., Enterococcus spp. and a PCR method for Bacillus spp.
<p>Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the <a href="http://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/" target="_blank">Food
Standards Agency Research webpage</a>.