“Viruses and bacteria (also) make food safe” is the title of another session on the Cycle of Talks “Feeding a cause”, an initiative promoted by Serralves Foundation, with the scientific partnership of Universidade Católica Portuguesa – Porto. This event will happen on October 22nd, at 11 a.m. in Sala Panorâmica – Quinta, Fundação de Serralves and Paula Teixeira, professor at the Faculty of Biotechnology and researcher at Center for Biotechnology and Fine Chemistry, will be the invited speaker.
The food that we ingest, either from animal or plant origin, is rarely sterile. On the contrary, they enclose diverse microbial communities – food microbiota – mainly composed of bacteria, molds, yeasts and viruses. The presence of these microbes changes through the food products life cycle and it is intimately linked to the environment and the conditions of cultivation, processing, storage and handling.
It is consensual that food was never as safe as it is today; however, it must be considered the fact that around 600 million people all over the world – one in each ten – get ill from consuming contaminated food. Food contamination, besides its consequences for public health, also causes significant food waste, with social, environmental and economic impacts.
But there is good news! There are good microbes, which work behind the scenes to protect our food and keep it safe, they may even substitute some chemical preservatives often used in food products. At the Food Microbiology Laboratory of Center for Biotechnology and Fine Chemistry (CBQF), Universidade Católica Portuguesa – Porto, the control of undesirable microorganisms in food promoted by other harmless microorganisms, viruses and bacteria, has been done for several years now, and often even as a partnership with companies. This talk will highlight several successful examples.
Paula Teixeira holds a BSc in Food Engineering and a PhD degree in Biotechnology, granted by Universidade Católica Portuguesa. Associate Professor with Aggregation at Faculty of Biotechnology, Deputy Director for Education and coordinator of the 1st cycle and the post-graduation course in Food Safety of the same institution. She is a professor in the areas of Food Microbiology and Food Safety.
She is the lead of the CBQF Research Line “Food & Nutrition” and responsible for “Food Microbiology” thematic laboratory. The global objective of her research group is to contribute to an improved knowledge on foodborne pathogens, particularly Listeria monocytogenes, using a 'One Health' approach.
More information regarding the Cycle of Talks “Feeding a Cause” can be found here.