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E!1003 SUstainable COntrol of LIsteria containing Biofilms

Alternative title: E!1002 Bærekraftig kontroll med Listeria i biofilmer

Awarded: NOK 0.92 mill.

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Project Period:

2022 - 2025

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Efficient cleaning in facilities that produce food is important to ensure safe and high quality products. A particular challenge for microbial safe food is the Listeria bacterium, which can establish and persist in environments and equipment where food is produced and thus be transferred to products and pose a food safety risk. The Listeria bacterium is a particular challenge for producers of a number of ready-to-eat food products, including cold-smoked salmon production where the bacterium can both establish itself in biofilms in the production environment and survive and grow in the products. In this project, the goal is to develop effective and sustainable novel cleaning products that are effective against biofilms containing Listeria. Selected antibacterial active substances will be tested on relevant bacteria and biofilms during relevant model experiments. This will provide a basis for developing prototype cleaning agents that will be tested and evaluated both on a pilot scale and in facilities that produce smoked salmon products. The project also includes matters related to regulations and approval of this type of product in accordance with European legislation.

The project goal is to develop sustainable and effective cleaning liquid products based on a combination of natural compounds and enzymes acting in combination with a biocide to eliminate Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) biofilms on equipment used by the salmon industry. The persistence of pathogenic Lm on food processing surfaces providing contamination of raw materials and processed foods remains a serious challenge for food processors. Highest prevalences of Lm have been reported in lightly processed fish products including cold-smoked salmon. In the current project, relevant multispecies biofilm models will be established. Enzymes and plant extracts will be evaluated and selected and their efficacy will be tested at laboratory scale based on developed biofilm models. Most promising combinations will be formulated into the final SuCoLiB product that will be produced at pilot-scale. Product use practicability will be assessed both in a representative pilot plant and by an end-user. Legislation and regulatory issues will be included according to the criteria of the European legislation. Key R&D challenges include establishment of relevant biofilm models, optimize prototype cleaning products according to stability, and obtain and evaluate effective cleaning using enzymes and plant extracts in mix.

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