Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Queen’s University Belfast plays a leading role in Europe-wide tests for safer food

12.12.2008
A top food scientist at Queen’s University Belfast is playing a major role in a £4m European project to develop new techniques to detect chemical contaminants in food and animal feed.

Professor Chris Elliott, Director of the Institute of Agri-Food and Land Use at Queen’s, will lead a team of scientists in developing new tests aimed to protect the public from potentially fatal toxins in a wide range of foods including meat, poultry, milk, seafood and cereals.

He believes that the project will result in safer food being made available to consumers across Europe.

The project entitled Conffidence, is being co-ordinated by the RIKILT Food Safety Institute in The Netherlands and involves 17 partners from ten European countries. Queen’s has been awarded over £300,000 for their role in the project.

Professor Elliott said: “The presence of chemical contaminants in food is a major concern for both European governments and consumers, as seen with the recent pork scare across Ireland in recent days.

“Thankfully the presence of chemical contaminants in food are fatal in only a small number of cases. However the true effects of long term exposure to these toxins are far from clear and may present significant heath risks.

“Regulatory Authorities and the food industries spend large amounts to monitor and control the safety of both food products and animal feed.

“This monitoring often uses expensive methods that can only detect one specific chemical so there is an urgent need for replacement of current methods by validated screening tools, which are simple, inexpensive and rapid and are able to detect as many chemical contaminants in parallel as possible.

“Queen’s main focus will be on developing highly innovative means of detecting natural toxins, produced by plants and fungi, in a wide range of foods.”

The Conffidence project has been designed to provide long-term solutions to the monitoring of a wide variety of chemical contaminants. These include pesticides, persistent organic pollutants, veterinary pharmaceuticals including antibiotics, heavy metals, plant and natural toxins.

Tests will be developed and validated for products including fish and fish feed, cereal-based food and vegetables. The tests will also study the transfer of harmful contaminants from feed to eggs and meat.

New technology is set to be used, including dipstick tests used in the same way as pregnancy tests, as well as low-cost high-volume laboratory-based methods.

The methods devised will then be used to carry out international food surveys that will help measure consumer exposure to chemical contaminants.

Andrea Clements | alfa
Further information:
http://www.qub.ac.uk
http://www.qub.ac.uk/home/TheUniversity/GeneralServices/News/PressReleases/Title,133506,en.html

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Trees and climate change: Faster growth, lighter wood
14.08.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Animals and fungi enhance the performance of forests
01.08.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>