World Food Safety Day is celebrated annually across the world on 7 June, and this year, Newspoint is shining a light on some eye-opening research being undertaken by the University of Malta’s Department of Food Sciences and Nutrition.
Project PROTECT, led by University College, Dublin, in which UM is a partner (Prof. Vasilis Valdramidis (PI), Dr Sholeem Griffin and Styliani Roufou (PhD candidate)), is evaluating the food-borne microbial responses in view of climate change.
As we don’t live in a sterile environment, our atmospheric conditions are supporting the growth of different microorganisms, which can contaminate our food products. Changes in our climate, such as the increase in global temperatures, may affect how long we can preserve food products such as canned food.
Bacteria which might resist the process may adapt to these temperature conditions, so re-evaluating the shelf-life of these products will help us determine the new shelf-life of such products, which is important because consuming food with bacteria might then result in infections.
This also leads to assessing how much energy we use in preserving these food products, and the energy to deliver the products – a clear link between the carbon footprint that bringing these products into our homes leaves, and the climate change that causes their shelf-life to change.
More about this interesting project with wide implications for our society at large can be found in the informative video below: