Investigate the antimicrobail activity of compounds isolated from berry crops, herbs and shell and body from crab and lobster processing. Determine the minimum inhibitory concentration (MCI) of compounds showing promise. Conduct long term monitoring of the yearly fluctuations in population of microorganisms in/on important agricultural crops. Evaluate the effectiveness of novel disinfection technologies on reducing these populations.
A spiral plating system will be used to conduct antimicrobial challenge studies using compounds isolated from plants and from seafood processing by-products such as discarded shell and body from the crab and lobster industries. Solvent extraction and high performance liquid chromatography will be used to isolate and separate compounds of interest. The system will also be used to determine MIC for compounds identified as having potential antimicrobial properties. The spiral plating system will be used to effectively monitor yearly fluctuations in raw agricultural commodities of importance to the Northeast. Because of the large numbers of samples, which can be handled by this system, it will be possible to modify the isolation protocols used for isolating and differentiating pathogens from fruits and vegetables of commercial value the Northeast. Data generated from monitoring will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of novel disinfection technologies (i.e. ozonation, hydrogen peroxide) on reducing these populations.
The New England area of the U.S. has become well known for production of small fruits, especially regional crops like cranberries and wild blueberries. The equipment in this project will be used for multiple research projects including the investigation of the antimicrobial activity of compounds isolated from these commodities and their processing by-products. This may increase the value and utilization of these crops. This equipment will also be used for microbiological testing in the area of fruit and vegetable safety, especially with those commodities consumed raw. We intend to begin a program designed to conduct long-term monitoring of the yearly fluctuations in population of microorganisms in/on important agricultural crops, and evaluate the effectiveness of novel disinfection technologies on reducing this population. This project will involve determining amount of bacteria present as well as, isolating and identifying individual microorganisms in an effort to build a database of those common to these commodities. This information may be used to modify current techniques used for isolating and differentiating pathogens from fruits and vegetables. This long-term data will then be used for initial trials of various intervention strategies targeted at the growing, harvesting, and processing segments of the industry.