R4SME, Fp7 European Commission Grant
Project number: FP7-SME-2012-315271-FUST
Period covered - start date: 2013
Period covered - end date: 2014
Project's coordinator: Nofima
Principal researchers: Achim Kohler, Volha Shapaval
Mould identification and source tracking in the food industry, in particular in the juice industry, is difficult because current technologies rely mainly on visual identification. The drawbacks of this approach are that it results in an unspecific identification of the mould, it requires experienced staff and it is time-consuming. There are no other good alternatives available, which could be applied to a broad spectrum of mould strains as they appear in juice production or in the food industry in general.
The aim of FUST is to develop a system based on Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy for food spoilage source tracking and identification of fungal contamination in the juice industry which overcomes these drawbacks; this will enable rapid identification of moulds at species level, requiring little experience from the operator and low running costs. FTIR spectroscopy will be used to provide a unique biochemical fingerprint of each mould strain, which will make it possible to differentiate different types of moulds and to track sources of microbial contamination along the juice production line.