Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, Department of Biochemical Engineering, Laboratory for General Microbiology and Food Microbiology

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Main research field

Food Technoogy, Biotechnology

Specific research areas

Food microbiology, Food analysis, Mycotoxins, Toxicology

Techniques/methods

HPLC, ELISA, PCR, SDS-PAGE, Electrophoresis, GC

Equipment

ELISA, Spectrophotometer, Chamber for work in sterile conditions, micro centrifuge, PCR, electrophoresis system, Densimate, gas chromatography

Technology keywords

  • ELECTRONICS, IT AND TELECOMMS
  • Enzymology/Protein Engineering/Fermentation
  • Food Additives/Ingredients/Functional Food
  • Detection and Analysis methods
  • Food Microbiology/Toxicology/Quality Control

Services offered

  • Teaching and Training
  • Diagnostics
  • Quality control
  • Live organism culture preparation

Market sectors

  • Beverages
  • Food & Drug Retailers
  • Food Producers
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology

Short summary (English)

«Isolation and identification of autochtonous microbial population from traditional fermented food and environment, formation of central collection of autochtonous starter cultures, their impact on food safety and mycotoxins in food and feed» Microorganisms from the food and the environment represent a serious public health problem, causing numerous infections by the consumption of contaminated food. Throughout the country homesteads and family farms in general, traditionally produce regional specialties in traditional ways. Production of these indigenous and traditional products is usually not standardized or accompanied by the appropriate regulations, so a continuous risk for alimentary toxic infections in people is present. Following the attempts for health improvement, consumers are interested in the natural products, and the increasing trend in the protection and preservation of food in a natural way is present, using natural additives (spice and herbs) or bioprotective cultures (autochthonous functional starter cultures). A great number of studies show that many of the essential oils have antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. Their advantage in the protection of foods is that they are bioactive also in gaseous phase, which provides protection of bulk materials, e.g. grains. The obtained results of the research on autochthonous lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and coagulase negative staphylococci (CNS) isolated from traditionally manufactured fermented products throughout Croatia revealed the fact that these autochthonous starter cultures have strong antimicrobial effect against pathogen microorganisms, along with good technological and functional properties. Furthermore, LAB are a source of antimicrobial peptides that target food pathogens without toxic or other adverse effects, potentially applicable in microbial food safety. The research expertise of our Laboratory includes isolation and characterization of autochthonous starter cultures (LAB, CNS, yeasts and moulds) from traditionally fermented products in order to make a well defined collection of natural isolates that could be used as starter cultures for the industrial production of specific traditional fermented products. Scientific research of the Laboratory also covers the area of general and applied microbiology, environmental impact on the production of microbial metabolites, microbial spoilage of foods, antimicrobial activity of natural bio- preservatives in food protection, dynamics of microbial growth in wastewater, determination of filamentous fungal biomass in liquid and solid culture media, mycotoxins in food and feed, the role of microbial populations in the maturation of certain foods, and effects of mixed cultures in the production of microbial metabolites.

Short summary (Croatian)

'Izolacija i identifikacija autohtonih mikroorganizama iz tradicionalne fermentirane hrane i okoliša, formiranje centralne zbirke autohtonih starter kultura, njihov utjecaj na sigurnost hrane i mikotoksini u hrani i krmivu' Mikroorganizmi iz hrane i okoliša predstavljaju ozbiljan problem za zdravlje u ljudi, uzrokuju brojne infekcije i intoksikacije nastale konzumacijom mikrobno kontaminirane hrane. U domaćinstvima i na gospodarstvima diljem zemlje tradicionalno se proizvode autohtoni specijaliteti. Postupak proizvodnje većine izvornih i tradicionalnih proizvoda nije standardiziran niti praćen odgovarajućim propisima, što predstavlja opasnost alimentarnih toksičnih infekcija u ljudi. Povećana briga za očuvanjem zdravlja dovodi danas do povećane primjene prirodnih dodataka (začini i bilje) ili bioprotektivnih kultura (autohtone funkcionalne starter kulture) u zaštiti i čuvanju hrane.Brojna istraživanja pokazuju da mnoga eterična ulja imaju antibakterijska, antifungalna i antiviralna svojstva. Njihova prednost u zaštiti hrane jest svojstvo da su bioaktivni i u plinovitoj fazi, što pogoduje zaštiti rasutih materijala (npr. zrnje). Nadalje, rezultati istraživanja pokazuju da bakterije mlječne kiseline (BMK) i koagulaza-negativni stafilokoki (KNS) izolirani iz autohtonih, tradicionalno proizvedenih fermentiranih proizvoda iz različitih područja Hrvatske, imaju snažan antimikrobni učinak protiv patogenih mikroorganizama, uz dobra tehnološka i funkcionalna svojstva. Nadalje, BMK su izvor antimikrobnih peptida, bez toksičnih i drugih negativnih učinaka, potencijalno primjenljivih u mikrobnoj zaštiti hrane. Ekspertize našeg laboratorija odnose se na izolaciju i identifikaciju autohtonih starter kultura (BMK, KNS, kvasci i plijesni) iz tradicionalnih fermentiranih proizvoda te razvoj novih funkcionalnih fermentiranih proizvoda. Znanstveno istraživanje laboratorija također pokriva područje opće i primijenjene mikrobiologije, utjecaj okoliša na proizvodnju mikrobnih metabolita, mikrobno kvarenje hrane, antimikrobnu aktivnost prirodnih biokonzervansa u zaštiti hrane, dinamiku rasta mikroorganizama u otpadnim vodama, određivanje biomase micelijskih gljiva u tekućim i čvrstim podlogama, mikotoksine u hrani i krmivu, utjecaj mikroorganizama na dozrijevanje namirnica te učinak mješovitih kultura u proizvodnji mikrobnih metabolita.

Last update: 06.02.2013. 06:08:00

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