Using mathematical models, we quantitatively assess the behaviour (growth, survival or inactivation) of micro-organisms present in a food at different stages of processing, packaging and distribution. This helps to develop inactivation treatments, new product formulations and safer preservation and packaging conditions.
From a selection of relevant microbiota, we can obtain cultures of the target microorganisms or their resistance forms (spores). We determine the environmental variables (degree of acidity, humidity or atmosphere) whose complementary and synergistic effects exert a greater or lesser degree of protection against microbial spoilage. We design experiments to define the microorganism’s behaviour (growth, inactivation, toxin production, alteration…) and the effect that environmental parameters have on its evolution. This knowledge allows us to determine the best conservation or inactivation strategy.
In addition, we use predictive modelling to determine the efficacy of additives/strategies against target micro-organisms. This allows us to optimise application rates. We can also determine the effect of product/preservation factors and define the application parameters for disinfection treatments.