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Center for Produce Safety awards research projects

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: iStock
Picture: iStock
Fourteen research projects have been awarded funds by the Center for Produce Safety (CPS) and its contributors.

Awards, valued at a little over $3m, are for projects to answer questions in specific areas of food safety practices. The work starts in January 2018.

2017 grant recipients

Kay Cooksey, Clemson University: Preservation of stone fruits by spray application of edible coatings with antimicrobial properties  

Edward Dudley, Penn State University: Identifying optimal methods of recovering bacteria from food processing plants for downstream microbiome analyses (POC)  

Michelle Green, University of Illinois: Engineering and ecological approaches reduce Pacific tree frog intrusion into leafy green agriculture

Renata Ivanek, Cornell University: FSMA agricultural-water die-off compliance provisions benefit from condition-specific modifiers

Amanda Lathrop, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo: The effects of storage conditions and the natural microbiome of nontraditional fresh-cut salad ingredients on the fate of Listeria monocytogenes

Daniel Munther, Cleveland State University: Mathematical modeling tools for practical chlorine control in produce wash process

Nitin Nitin, University of California, Davis: Rechargeable antimicrobial and antifouling plastics for improved cleaning and sanitation of plastic bins and totes​ 

Paula Rivadeneira, University of Arizona: Use of raptors to prevent wild bird and rodent intrusion into fresh produce fields​  

Channah Rock, University of Arizona: UA Ag Water app-language expansion and practical grower-inspired improvements​ 

Gloria Sanchez-Moragas, IATA-CSIC, Spain: Metagenomics to identify viral indicators in the produce chain​  

Trevor Suslow, University of California, Davis: Scientifically valid corrective actions for multiple harvest shadehouse production systems​  

Siddhartha Thakur, North Carolina State University: Establishment of vegetative buffer zones to reduce the risk of STEC and Salmonella transmission from animal operations to fresh produce on co-managed farms.

Martin Wiedmann, Cornell University: Listeria whole genome sequence data reference sets are needed to allow for improved persistence assessment and source tracking​   

Anita Wright, University of Florida: Application of chitosan microparticles to eliminate foodborne pathogens in agricultural water that contacts fresh produce (POC)

The goal is to prevent or minimize produce safety vulnerabilities across the supply and marketing chain.

CPS received more than one hundred full proposals and pre-proposals.

Tim York, president of Markon Cooperative, Inc. and chair for the CPS board of directors, said the proposals address the most pressing food safety concerns.

“Funding for the projects comes from a combination of contributions to CPS' Campaign for Produce Safety and state block-grant funds.

“We recognize the responsibility CPS has to ensure these funds are managed prudently to provide scientific tools that support fresh produce food safety programs for our customers and industry."   

Dr Edward Dudley, Penn State, is a first-time award recipient.

He said research efforts will provide industry, academic and government scientists with increased confidence in sampling protocols when applying microbiome analyses to food safety issues.

"Microbiome analyses are popular methods of quantifying the microbial communities associated with plants, animals, humans, and soils, and are increasingly used to identify microorganisms present in food processing environments.

“However, little attention has been paid to whether using a different method of recovering microorganisms changes the final results.”

Dr Amanda Lathrop, at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo is another first-time award recipient.

"This project will determine if and under what conditionsL. monocytogenes will grow on beet greens, kale, Brussel sprouts, and broccoli stalk.  The produce industry will be able to use this data to develop management strategies to minimize food safety risk." 

The 2018 request for preliminary proposals on food safety research are due by 12 noon Pacific on 14 November.

Related topics: R&D, Fresh produce, Shelf life

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