USDA-NIFA grant awarded to Arkansas meals scientist to investigate low-moisture meals safety

The U.S. Division of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded an Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Feature researcher a $200,000 grant to be taught extra about how noteworthy moisture is required to enable bacterial survival in low-moisture meals. 

The institute acknowledges the dangers of pathogens in low-moisture meals as correct two months prior to now the FDA confirmed 5 diverse lines of Cronobacter sakazakii micro organism at an Abbott Nutrition plant in Sturgis, MI, that makes toddler system that used to be linked to four ailments and two deaths.

Jennifer Acuff, the awarded researcher and assistant professor in meals safety and microbiology with the University of Arkansas Device Division of Agriculture, says her be taught can lend a hand scheme foundational files on how micro organism persist in low-moisture meals processing environments.

“We don’t truly know how noteworthy water or vitamins are required to defend these contaminating populations, however everyone knows they’ll persist in the dry atmosphere for a extremely long time,” Acuff stated. 

Essentially based on Acuff, the aim of the grant is to scheme protocols for a laboratory that simulate these persistent micro organism so that they’ll survey how to stop their formation or mitigate the dangers once they fabricate possess in a low-moisture meals processing atmosphere.

“Many low-moisture meals are also idea about engaging-to-utilize, so this puts customers at a particular likelihood because they build now no longer seem to be staring at for the meals to be unsafe and must aloof now no longer be doing something to it that would possibly perchance perchance extinguish pathogens, comparable to cooking,” Acuff stated. 

Acuff’s be taught is designed to acquire files that can enable collaborative be taught in the long accelerate on cleansing, sanitizing and processing in a low-moisture meals atmosphere.

Acuff and her lab will see how mistaken-contamination can occur from the persistent bacterial populations to the non-mistaken products in the presence of puny water and vitamins. 

Acuff will title a handsome surrogate microorganism that is nonpathogenic however can mimic the habits of a pathogen, so that the laboratory outcomes would be validated in meals processing vegetation without introducing a pathogen to the atmosphere.

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