Universitat de Lleida

New microbial culture to control foodborne pathogens in fresh-cut fruit

Posted by Universitat de LleidaResponsive · Patents for licensing · Spain

Summary of the technology

A new solution based on a microbial culture capable of inhibiting the growth of foodborne human pathogens such as Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli in fresh-cut fruit.

New microbial culture with demonstrated bio-preservative activity.

The use of the proposed technology in the fresh-cut fruit industry prevents the development of food-borne pathogens, ensures food safety and maintains the product quality throughout the product shelf-life. This technology is complementary to existing preventive methods.

Universitat de Lleida

The Technology

The use of the proposed technology in the fresh-cut fruit industry prevents the development of food-borne pathogens, ensures food safety and maintains the product quality throughout the product shelf-life. This technology is complementary to existing preventive methods.

The Need

During recent years, production and consumption of minimally-processed fruits and vegetables have expanded due to its convenience, freshness and preserved health properties. However, currently used washing systems are not completely effective in reducing pathogen load on minimally-processed products, which have a direct use without any additional treatment. In consequence, the number of outbreaks associated with the consumption of these products has increased. Therefore, preventive measures to effectively reduce biological hazards are needed.

The use of bio-preservation techniques like the use of microbial cultures have shown to reduce the pathogen population on minimally-processed fruits and vegetables.

Market Need

Sales of fresh-cut produce in the U.S. increase annually. Freshly cut fruit represents 12% and 72.4% of this products are delivered without any preservative. The total EU fruit and vegetable production is 120 million tons, of which 70 are used fresh.

The total European trade of fresh fruit and vegetables is increasing gradually year by year. The U.K. confirms to be the Europe’s leader in the fresh-cut market sales, followed by Italy (FAO, 2010). In countries in which fresh-cut fruit & vegetables (F&V) is still emerging, the market growth in the last years was higher than other countries in which this market is already established, for instance Italy and the Netherlands.

Advantages

  • Ensuring microbiological safety while preserving product quality both at room and cooling conditions (from 5ºC to 20ºC).
  • Maintenance of product shelf-life, particularly if the chill chain is broken.
  • Demonstrated effectiveness for Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli O157:H7 in fresh-cut fruit.
  • Compatible with manufacturing technology in the fresh cut fruit industry.

Applications

To be used as biopreservative in the fruit industry, particularly in minimally-processed fruit.

It could also be useful in other ready-to-eat food.

Level of Development

Pre-commercial validation

Business Opportunity

Available for licensing

Intellectual property status

Granted Patent
EP13382530.7
Europe

Granted Patent
US 8,735,136
USA

Technology Owner

Universitat de Lleida

Research & Technology Organization

Related keywords

  • Biological Sciences
  • Biology / Biotechnology
  • Agrofood Industry
  • Technologies for the food industry
  • Drink Technology
  • Food Additives/Ingredients/Functional Food
  • Food Packaging / Handling
  • Food Processing
  • Food Technology
  • Food quality and safety
  • Food Microbiology / Toxicology / Quality Control
  • Safe production methods
  • Micro- and Nanotechnology related to agrofood
  • Consumer related
  • Food and Beverages
  • Health food
  • Fruit and Vegetables
  • Foodstuffs Intended For Special Nutritional Uses
  • fresh-cut fruit
  • human pathogens
  • foodborne
  • fruit industry
  • bio-preservation

About Universitat de Lleida

Research & Technology Organization from Spain

The Valorisation and Technology Transfer Unit (UViT) is the specialized unit for handling the IPR portfolio in the University of Lleida. The UViT works close to researchers in the fields of Agrifood, Biomedicine, Technology and Sustainability and Social Development to identify research results with market potential, to assess the community on the best IP protection strategy and to commercialise technologies through licensing-out agreements and the creation of technology-based companies.

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