A project to develop effective techniques for the ‘surface pasteurisation’ of food led by the University of Bristol is being helped by a new technique developed by scientists at the University of the West of England. Officially titled ‘BUGDEATH’ the project, which in total has eight partners, is aimed at ‘Predicting microbial death during heat treatments on foods’.
Researchers based at the University of Bristol Food Refrigeration and Process Engineering Centre, have been looking at ‘steam pasteurisation’ for some time – a process whereby steam is blown at the surface of the food (for example meat) at a high temperature for a short time to kill any bacteria before it is stored or processed.
The BUGDEATH project will focus on what happens to the bacteria which are treated in this way and with other ‘dry’ treatments. It will assess how the speed of the surface temperature change affects the bacteria. The project will look at how the bacteria die and how long this takes. The researchers will use real food rather than just samples in test tubes so that the data they produce has real relevance for the food industry.
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