Anca Ioana Nicolau

NEW CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR INDUSTRY TO SUPPORT CONSUMERS IN MANAGING FOOD SAFETY RISK

Anca Ioana Nicolau1, Bob Crawford2, Peder Bruusgaard3, Aylin Met4

1Dunarea de Jos University of Galati, Str. Domneasca 47, 800008, Galati, Romania
2C-Tech Innovation, Capenhurst Technology Park, Capenhurst, Chester, CH1 6EH, UK
3Keep-it Technologies AS, Strømsveien 323A, N-1081 Oslo, Norway
4Arçelik Genel Müdürlük, Sütlüce, Karaağaç Cd No: 2, 34445 Beyoğlu, İstanbul, Turkey
anca.nicolau@ugal.ro

Very often, consumers are minimizing the microbiological risk associated with food consumption at home and this attitude maintains the household environment as the most commonly reported cause of food outbreaks. According to EFSA & ECDC (2021), food safety violations at the consumer stage represent nearly 40% of the food-borne outbreaks and are occurring in domestic settings.

C-Tech, Keep-it, and Arcelik, three industrial partners of SafeConsume, are working on delivering innovative devices and equipment to support consumers in managing the food safety risk in their homes.

To mitigate the risk associated with defrosting food at room temperature, C-Tech from the UK is developing radiofrequency equipment that allows rapid safe defrosting (30 minutes or less) and an even temperature profile of food. Unlike microwave defrosted meat, radiofrequency defrosted meat will have no hot spots and will be flexible to allow cutting, preparation, and cooking.

To give consumers the possibility to know how long food is safe and to reduce food waste, Keep-it from Norway is working on Time Temperature Indicators for left-over food that can be directly purchased by consumers.

To allow rapid cooling of hot meals and reduce the time spent in the dangerous zone, Arçelik from Turkey is incorporating a smart IR sensor system on a fridge shelf. Based on this technology, hot meals, even around 80-90°C can be cooled 2-3 times faster and the cooling process is automatically finished when food reaches 15°C. The specialized new cooling system does not allow temperature rise of other foods during the cooling of hot foods.

Answering consumer needs for saving time, saving money by not wasting food, and supporting safe food, these innovations are not only great business opportunities but significant contributors to decreasing the health burden represented by food-borne outbreaks.

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the SafeConsume project (Horizon 2020 Grant agreement 727580)

References

[1]  EFSA and ECDC. 2021. The European Union One Health 2019 Zoonoses Report. EFSA Journal 2021, 19(2):6406, 286 pp. https://doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2021.6406 (accessed 15.02.2022).


Anca Ioana Nicolau

CV: Născută în 1961, în Galaţi, România, a absolvit ca inginer tehnolog de industrie alimentară (1985) şi a obţinut titlul de doctor în Biotehnologie industrială (1999) la Facultatea de Ştiinţa şi Ingineria Alimentelor de la Universitatea „Dunarea de Jos” din Galaţi (UGAL). Beneficiară a unei burse Fulbright pentru educaţie antreprenorială la Universitatea din Rochester, NY, SUA (2017). Activitate profesională: În prezent, profesor (Microbiologia alimentelor, Metode rapide şi automatizate în microbiologie, Igiena în întreprinderile de industrie alimentară) şi coordonatoare de teze de doctorat în domeniul Ingineriei industriale, specializarea Industrie alimentară, la UGAL. Cercetare: Responsabilă instituţională pentru 8 proiecte europene şi director de proiecte naţionale. Bibliografie: Autoare şi coautoare a 25 de cărţi şi capitole de cărţi, peste 50 de articole publicate în jurnale ştiinţifice, şi 3 brevete de invenţie  Premii: Premiată de Academia Română, Academia  de Ştiinţe Agricole şi Silvice şi Unitatea Executivă pentru Finanţarea Învăţământului Superior, Cercetării, Dezvoltării şi Inovării (UEFISCDI). Altele: Membră a comitetului editorial al jurnalului  Frontiers in Microbiology, membră a EFFoST şi GHI – Iniţiativa pentru Armonizare Globală, ex–vice preşedintă a Asociaţiei pentru Educaţie Antreprenorială, preşedintă a filialei Galaţi a Asociaţiei Generale a Inginerilor din România, evaluator expert pentru Agenţia Executivă pentru Cercetare Europeană (REA).

Anca Ioana Nicolau

CV: Born 1961 in Galati, Romania, graduated as food technologist (1985) and obtained her PhD title in Industrial Biotechnology (1999) at the Faculty of Food Science and Engineering from the “Dunarea de Jos” University of Galati (UGAL). Fulbright grantee in entrepreneurship education at the University of Rochester, NY, USA (2017). Teaching and supervision: Currently, professor of Food Microbiology, Rapid methods and Automation in Microbiology and Hygiene for Food Business Operators and PhD thesis coordinator in the domain of Industrial Engineering, specialization Food Industry, at UGAL. Research: Institutional responsible for 8 EU projects and project director for national projects. Bibliography: Author and coauthor of 25 books and book chapters, over 50 articles in scientific journals and 3 patents. Awards: Awardee of the Romanian Academy, the Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences (ASAS) and the Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding (UEFISCDI). Additionally: Member of the Editorial Board of Frontiers in Microbiology, member of EFFoST and GHI – Global Harmonization Initiative, ex–vice president of AEA – the Romanian Association for Entrepreneurial Education, president of the local General Association of Engineers in Romania, expert evaluator for the European Research Executive Agency (REA).

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