<p>1) Develop and/or improve novel methods for the detection, identification and quantification of pathogens and chemical residues in catfish and other products; 2) Quantification of high-risk and low-risk Listeria monocytogenes serotypes and other pathogens on catfish environment and products by molecular tools such as multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and surfaced enhanced Raman microscopy; 3) To develop novel, sustainable processes and products from catfish and its sub-products so as to enhance efficiencies while diminishing environmental impact; 4) To develop and apply novel bioactive compounds from catfish sub-products and to apply these and other compounds to improve heatlh and other functionalities (antimicrobial, antioxidant); and 5) To generate sound risk assessment data for establishing/modifying food safety regulations and to reduce/eliminate food safety problems in the aquaculture industry and their environment.</p>
Detection and quantification of pathogens such as salmonella and Listeria and others is of priority as per literature and preliminary risk assesments conducted on catfish and aquaculture products. Novel detection and quantification methods with rapid and economical applicability to the industry are to be developed and tested in the field. These methods will be targeted as easy to be done, require minimum expertise and facilities and be rapid and accurate. In addition testing methods for therapeutic drugs are needed to test domestic and imported products reaching consumers. These tests will also be rapid and accurate. The discovery of genetic traits of Listeria monocytogenes in catfish and related aquaculture products will help in identification of the most proliferant pathogen in catfish and may help in identifying possible resistance mechanisms. Sound risk assesments need to be developed to prioritize the risks of domestic and imported catfish and aquaculture products. Databases will be complemented to develop risk assesments and risk management plans to minimize food safety and health concerns with catfish and aquaculture products. Novel products and sub products are needed to enhance the health benefits of catfish, diversify market available items, utilize more than 60% of the product that is underutilized now, and enhance product shelf life and safety. Native and natural compounds will be identified and applied pre- and post-harvest to study functionality and possible health benefits of catfish products for humans and pets. In addition, these processes and products will be developed to favor a sustainable chain in pre- and post-harvest life of catfish.