New project - Integrated Monitoring, Bridging the Knowledge Gap and Control of Foodborne Viral and Bacterial Contamination in Food Supply Chain
The Centre of Excellence (FoodHub) of the University of Donja Gorica is the head of the consortium of the new project "Integrated Monitoring, Bridging the Knowledge Gap and Control of Foodborne Viral and Bacterial Contamination in Food Supply Chain (ViFoodFree NET)".
The Alliance of International Scientific Organizations (ANSO) funded the project within the collaborative research program. In addition to the Centre of Excellence (FoodHub), the consortium includes:
- Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Department of Food Science and Technology (SJTU),
- Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES),
- Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Belgrade, Department of Hygiene and Food Technology (UBFVM) and
- Bio Bio University (Chile).
The main objective of the ViFoodFree NET project is the development of an effective strategy for the control and monitoring of food-associated microbial hazard patterns along the food production chain. The results will enable accurate identification and enumeration of the selected microorganisms and determination of their prevalence in the most significant food industry branches (meat, dairy and fruit & vegetable).
The microorganisms will be detected using conventional microbiology methods, the application of molecular-biology methods, and metagenomics to evaluate the composition of bacterial and viral communities in different food matrices. Metagenomics sequencing has already been used as a promising solution for surveillance as it detects all viruses and bacteria in a single protocol, delivers additional genomic information for outbreak tracing, and allows the detection of novel viral and bacterial species. The obtained data will be used for predictive modelling to support relevant authorities and food producers in implementing realistic and more goal-oriented preventive measures in the food production and distribution chain.
The project will be implemented for a total duration of three years.