Our understanding of how microflora changes in a product during its shelf-life is incomplete – especially for spoilage organisms. We also do not fully understand the impact of naturally occurring microbes on any contaminating pathogens. Our new member-funded research project is using advanced microbial profiling (AMP) to improve our understanding and potentially extend the shelf-life of products.
We’re using AMP (a powerful DNA technique) to re-evaluate microbial specifications for a range of chilled products and to analyse the effect that naturally occurring microflora has on the growth of pathogenic microflora.
Where are we now? We’re currently analysing data from challenge tests of smoked salmon to identify microbial population changes that occurred with the growth of Listeria monocytogenes. Next, we will investigate Clostridium botulinum in red meat.