Overall, the proposed program will advance fundamental knowledge about food, nutrition, and health. The proposed Program includes the following nine objectives: <OL> <LI> Investigate high pressure processing technologies to provide improved quality foods with fresh-like attributes, while inactivating pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms <LI> Develop edible surface coatings for fruits and vegetables to extend shelf-life and deliver functional benefits (anti-browning, anti-microbial, bioactives, added nutrients) <LI> Investigate relationships between molecular understandings of flavor, sensory attributes and chemical compounds responsible for those sensory characteristics to improve food and ingredient quality during production and processing. <LI> Develop new value-added seafood products that utilize enzyme inhibitors and enhanced protein recovery technologies to meet changing market demands and pricing <LI> Develop and scale-up a seafood industry (albacore, salmon, crab) traceability system to ensure supply-side management, quality assurance, and market tracking. <LI> Determine the incidence, frequency, and virulence factors of bacterial pathogens associated with seafood <LI> Determine modes of contamination of Northwest fresh berries and study the survival of microbial pathogens in berry juices and purees <LI> Investigate new sanitation procedures to reduce bacterial contamination and microbial pathogens in seafood, fresh and processed berry fruits, and berry juices <LI> Evaluate mechanistic models and processes for bio-based saccharification of plant cell wall materials to simple sugars.
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Foodborne disease outbreaks traced to seafood consumption and that of fresh fruits and vegetables is of continuing concern in the U.S. In the past few decades there has been a significant increase in the consumption of seafood and fresh produce in part as a response to health authorities advocating them as part of a healthy diet. This coupled with a growing consumer preference for minimally handled and processed food has driven the need to develop new and more product-specific technologies designed to curtail microbial contamination with these foods. A variety of subprograms are represented in this Program and include subprograms that focus on development of advances in food processing technologies (edible coatings, vacuum infusion and high pressure processing), microbial detection methods for research/food production, and implementation and application research support for processing trials by local and national food and seafood processors.
APPROACH: The experimental approaches that will be used to meet the specific objectives of these subprograms include pilot studies for Oregon, the Pacific Northwest, and the U.S. In addition, the experimental approaches will also include controlled laboratory experiments and database/model development. The methods that will be employed to reach consumer, food processor and regulatory agency target audiences will encompass a variety of media including workshops, seminars, peer-reviewed manuscripts, newsletters, and websites. Expected short-term accomplishments that will result from successful completion of this five-year program include peer-reviewed manuscripts and other forms of information dissemination. IACUC and IRB approvals will be obtained.