Valencia, December 9th 2016. AINIA and INESCOP are working together in ANTIMICROBIAL project, financed by IVACE and Feder Funds from EU, with the aim of developing in the following two years new biological methods to evaluate the efficacy of biocides applied to food products and footwear, or materials employed in these sectors.
Biocides or antimicrobial agents are chemical or natural substances that, thanks to the action of the active substances they contain, are harmful to bacteria and fungi and therefore, suitable for actively protecting materials and products which are exposed to these microorganisms.
The presence of microorganisms in food and materials produce large losses to some industrial sectors due to the deterioration and loss of physical, chemical and organoleptic properties of these products resulting in low quality, short shelf life of products or a health risk involved.
To avoid these problems, an increasing number of companies use antimicrobial agents or biocides integrated in the materials (leather, steel, textiles, plastics ...) to prevent infections, decontaminate surfaces, prevent odours and microbial spoilage, improving the qualities of all these products, for example, in footwear, food and cosmetics.
Biocides act penetrating the microorganism cell membrane and destroying systems that allow it live. Consequently, one of the objectives of this project is to study the microorganisms adhesion to surfaces where the microorganisms membrane or cell wall has a key role, using more effective and sensitive techniques such as microscopy and flow cytometry.
The development of these technologies can represent an important improvement over conventional testing methods. In words of Sonia Porta, AINIA Microbiology Department researcher: "Better assessment of biocides efficacy can contribute to the optimization of product formulations against microorganisms risk. Moreover, will result in more safe, durable and stable food products. "
According to Marcelo Bertazzo, INESCOP project technician: "Improved methods to evaluate the biocides generate valuable information for companies about what the most efficient antimicrobials are, which will minimize microbial contamination in consumer products, and consequently, a reduction of economic losses from spoiled products disposing.