A new Norwegian pathogen testing unit for manufacturers, R&D institutions and universities will be the first of its kind in Europe, catering for a broad range of food products and raw materials.
A 27 Mio. NOK (3.4 Mio. €) grant from the Research Council of Norway will be put towards the building of a separate pilot plant at Campus Ås, a food science and product development centre based in Norway.
At the unit, both conventional and new food products can be produced deliberately contaminated with pathogens in order to investigate the fate of such microorganisms under different production conditions. This would allow for more accurate studies and validation of pathogen behaviour in food, identifying critical control points and avoiding future food poison outbreaks.
The pathogen pilot plant will also be used for testing of novel and conventional cleaning and disinfection methods of equipment and whole room disinfection testing.
The grant will be available over the next two years, with the unit scheduled for
completion by late next year, or summer 2013 at the latest.
The centre forms part of the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB) and
collaborated on by research institutions such as Nofima AS and Bioforsk.
The Research Council of Norway grant will also be used to establish Campus Ås as a national centre for Food science and product development and upgrade of pilot plant facilities for food production, packaging and storage.
Source: Research Council of Norway