Main topics: evaluation of hygienic quality of dairy products; investigation on the origin and the causes of safety concerns; study of the products and processes to solve emerging sanitary problems. Main activities include:

  • Evaluation of hygienic quality of dairy products: microbial contamination, detection of pathogen and spoilage bacteria and aflatoxins
  • Phenotypic and molecular identification, typing and characterization of contaminating bacteria
  • Growth and survival studies at laboratory scale to evaluate the influence of technological parameters (acidification, cooking, salting, etc.) on the behavior of contaminating bacteria
  • Development of biocontrol strategies: screening of antimicrobial activity of microorganisms, at both micro-scale laboratory and pilot plant level
  • Evaluation of alternative processing technologies and antimicrobials to solve sanitary problems
  • Shelf-life studies (challenge tests) to investigate the ability of undesirable microorganisms to grow or survive in the product under different reasonably foreseeable distribution, storage and use conditions
  • Analysis of antibiotic-resistance in bacteria: determination of MIC for starter and non-starter LAB; molecular basis and transferability of resistance genes