Contaminants in foods can compromise food safety and health. This can be due to a broad array of chemical compounds or microbes in the food chain. Food safety is a license to produce and puts a great responsibility on food producers and handlers. Many examples are available of local incidents that were at the heart of international cases of foodborne outbreaks. Moreover, isolated cases of bacterial foodborne illness can nowadays be linked to geographically distant or historical cases based on genome sequences and relevant production sites. For food manufacturers, foodborne outbreaks lead to high costs related to recalls, claims, factory closures, but also to damage of consumer trust and damage to the reputation and brands.
As the world’s population grows, there is an increasing demand for food that is produced in a sustainable way. To meet demands of consumers, this food must also be tasty and healthy. These drivers create opportunities and challenges for the food industry. New challenges with respect to food safety and quality may arise from changes in farming practices, food processing, product formulations, the use of different resources and changes in global food supplies.
To fulfill the demands of the consumers and to meet sustainability goals, products and processes may require (re)design, for instance by:
- Increasing the use of plant-based ingredients
- Applying milder processing conditions to maintain freshness
- Reducing additives and/or salt and/or sugar
Such changes bring challenges to produce a safe finished product, which is of high quality.
NIZO helps food companies and ingredient suppliers to maintain reliable products and processes and protect image and brand; we have more than 70 years’ experience with the control of pathogens and spoilage microorganisms in foods from lab to pilot scale. Our multidisciplinary team provides integrated and hands-on solutions, taking processing conditions, ingredients, and finished product properties into account in the design and assessment of safe and high-quality foods. We apply modeling approaches and generate quantitative risk assessments, and have lab-scale facilities to test product prototypes using, for instance, high throughput screening platforms with target organisms. Together with our solid knowledge of microbes in foods, we support our customers.
During this free webinar, Marjon Wells-Bennik, Principal Scientist Food Safety, and Robyn Eijlander, Senior Project Manager Microbiology and Food Safety, will discuss the following topics:
- Ensuring food safety by chain control: from ingredient to product
- Replacement of dairy proteins by plant proteins
- Pathogens and spoilage organisms of foods and root cause analysis
There will also be a live Q&A session at the end of the presentation.
Marjon Wells-Bennik, Principal Scientist Food Safety, NIZO
As a Principal Scientist Food Safety at NIZO, I work on preventing and solving food safety and quality issues for our customers in the food industry. My broad expertise and background in food safety and quality was shaped by my MSc and PhD research in Food Science at Wageningen University, Postdoc at Harvard University, and work experience at three different food research institutes.
My main focus is on the control of undesirable bacteria in foods, which show an enormous diversity and can cause foodborne illness or spoilage. Ultimately, effective solutions to protect safety and quality of foods require knowledge about the food ingredients and their sources, the characteristics of the contaminants, the manufacturing process, the formulation and properties of the finished food and the storage conditions until consumption. To provide solutions, we apply multidisciplinary approaches which range from troubleshooting activities, challenge testing, process validations, microbial and chemical risk assessments, to in-depth genomics analysis of microbial diversity to detect problem-causing bacteria. By staying at the forefront of science, new risks can be identified at an early stage and knowledge on contaminants translated to practice.
Robyn Eijlander, Senior Project Manager Microbiology and Food Safety, NIZO
As a Senior Project Manager at NIZO, I work on improving food and health with a focus on characterization of beneficial and harmful bacterial (in silico and in vitro) that are important for human well-being. In addition, a central theme of my work relates to spore-related issues in the food industry. During my PhD and PostDoc research projects at the Molecular Genetics department at the University of Groningen I studied various molecular processes in sporeforming Bacillus species, ranging from protein secretion to sporulation and spore germination. The growing need to help translate all these amazing scientific findings to practical solutions for industry motivated me to leave academic research and continue my career as a Senior Project Manager at NIZO. I enjoy combining my acquired knowledge and expertise as a research scientist and my developed communication and organization skills for efficient research, increased understanding of scientific data and insights and leads for innovation and solutions for customers.
Who Should Attend?
This webinar will appeal to food and beverage manufacturers in emerging and established companies, ideally with knowledge of microbiology. The webinar is of interest to people working in the following or related departments:
- Product development
- Quality assurance
- Marketing and innovation
What You Will Learn
Participants will learn about:
- Trends in the food and beverage industry and the link with food safety and quality
- New challenges faced by food and beverage manufactures
- How to produce a safe finished product when implementing new concepts and processes
- New developments in tackling food safety issues
NIZO is world leading in contract research and contract manufacturing with more than 70 years of experience and expertise. NIZO supports food and health companies in solving their challenges throughout the entire production chain. NIZO delivers development and application of innovations resulting in gains in product quality, sustainability, cost effectiveness and speed to market.
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