Thematic Lines

Microbial and chemical hazards in primary production, postharvest handling and processing activities

The MxQ group is engaged in optimizing and implementing preventive and intervention strategies, including technological and managerial interventions along the farm to fork chain from primary production to postharvest handling, processing practices, distribution, and consumer handling to prevent food safety risks related to fresh produce. One of the primary objectives is the control of biological hazards, including bacteria and virus, and chemical hazards. Special attention is given to the use of water disinfection techniques in the agro-food industry, to understand the critical elements that impact fresh produce safety related to the process water, and the formation and accumulation of disinfection by-products such as trihalomethanes (THM), haloacetic acids (HAA) and chlorate (ClO3). Prevention is an essential part of the disinfection process through selecting the sanitizers, the control of residual limits and the suitable sensors and monitoring systems.