Our food intake can have profound effects in health and disease. Food should be nutritious and healthy, but free of contaminants that may threaten our health. Food safety is thus a basic requirement for all food products. Moreover, food products should retain high quality throughout shelf life. We work together with the food industry to achieve this.
A strong demand for healthy, sustainable foods provide important drivers for changes in product formulations and processing conditions. In turn, this may influence the survival and outgrowth of undesirable microbes, for instance when less salt, sugar and preservatives are used, or when milder heating processes are applied. Potential risks related to foodborne pathogens or spoilage organisms must then be mitigated. Other challenges for the food industry may arise from global sourcing of ingredients; microbial specifications may be similar but the exact properties of microbes may vary.
NIZO helps food companies to safeguard microbial safety and quality in the food chain. Our multidisciplinary team provides support in the following areas: trouble shooting, process analyses, challenge testing using relevant microbes, quantitative microbial risk assessments throughout the food chain, detection and identification of microbial contaminants using advanced molecular DNA-based techniques, and process validations for target microbes in our food safety test facility. We provide integrated solutions, taking processing conditions, ingredients, and finished product properties into account.