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Development and implementation of improved molecular diagnostic tools for evaluation of microbial food hazards and study of the effect of novel food processes on the virulence of foodborne pathogens (FOODPATH)
Start date: 01 Nov 2007, End date: 31 Oct 2008 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The guarantee of food safety and quality along the food chain is the principal demand of the European citizen. To establish effective control measures that guarantee food safety and quality 'from farm to table', it is necessary to identify and resolve the problems originating from different microbial hazards, which have been creating continuous food alerts.Consequently, there is a need to understand microbial resistance mechanisms with regard to food production and preservation processes, as well as to develop and optimise strategies for practical and effective implementation of analytical methodologies in the food industry.The objective of this proposal is to tackle fundamental and applied aspects in food safety and quality, being focused on the characterisation and quantification of food hazards via the development and implementation of novel molecular diagnostic strategies. This will allow the identification, characterisation and quantification of microbial food contaminants.In addition, one of the priorities of this research project is the dissection of microbial resistance strategies and their effects on virulence modulation. The genes and metabolic pathways involved in the persistence of microorganisms along the food production process, and in the resistance to emerging food preservation technologies will be determined and characterised.
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