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Wednesday, 09 July 2014 00:00

Seeking mathematical models to improve the conservation of aquaculture products

The project is funded by the Regional Ministry of Innovation, Science and Enterprise of the Government of Andalusia, within the Program for Incentives to Agents of the Andalusian Knowledge System The project is funded by the Regional Ministry of Innovation, Science and Enterprise of the Government of Andalusia, within the Program for Incentives to Agents of the Andalusian Knowledge System Ctaqua

ceiA3 Researchers develop a new project with the aim to prolong the lifetime of fresh fish, at the University of Córdoba, with the Andalusian aquaculture sector

Andalusian aquaculture production increasingly meets the current demand for fish by consumers, who seek fresh, natural and minimally-processed food as part of the Mediterranean diet. This current consumption trend accounts for the gradual adaptation of the industrial processes, preserving the quality and safety of products throughout their lifetime. In order to assist and help the manufacturing industry, a research team of the Agrifood Campus of International Excellence ceiA3 at the University of Córdoba has initiated a project to improve the microbiological quality and safety of the marine aquaculture products through the combined application of traditional and alternative processes, such as the introduction of modified atmospheres and bioconservation. This initiative could provide operators of the aquaculture industry with simple rapid-response tools to offer more attractive and longer-lifetime foods to consumers.

The work developed by the research group HIBRO, run by the Full Professor of Nutrition and Food Science, Gonzalo Zurera, will focus on the development of mathematical models in minimally-processed marine aquaculture products to extend their shelf life and to improve their microbiological safety. These models will include different bioconservation treatments, addressing in parallel the effect of traditional technological processes.

For the implementation of this project, the University of Cordoba will collaborate with Pablo de Olavide University (Seville), the Aquaculture Technology Centre (CTAQUA) and the aquaculture production and processing company, Esteros de Canela.  Pablo de Olavide University (Seville) will be responsible for the development and application of molecular techniques to identify microbial species naturally present in these products, which can act as bioprotectors for crops. Moreover, the aquaculture sector will be actively involved in this project. In this regard, the Company Esteros de Canela will work in the process of conducting and sampling on a minimally-processed aquaculture product which will be subject to optimization. While CTAQUA will assist in the sampling campaigns, in the analytical microbiological monitoring, as well as in the technical and scientific advice to the work developed at the company.

Under the title “Desarrollo y aplicación de modelos predictivos para la mejora de la calidad y seguridad de productos de la acuicultura marina mínimamente procesados", this project has a length of three years and is funded by the Regional Ministry of Innovation, Science and Enterprise of the Government of Andalusia, within the Program for Incentives to Agents of the Andalusian Knowledge System, amounting to 115,000 euro.

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