Listware

Listware: Software for risk assessment of Listeria in ready-to-eat meat products Abattoirs (Innovation project in the Norwegian business sector - BIONÆR) 

Norwegian Research Council, grant no.: 256259/E50

Project period: 01.07.2016 – 30.06.2019

In Collaboration with the Norwegian Veterinary Institute, Orkla Foods Norge AS, Grilstad AS, Matbørsen AS and Fatland AS

Project objectives:

The main objective is to develop a software tool and database for assessing growth of Listeria in meat products and mixed products where meat is a main ingredient, in a cheaper and more accurate way.

Sub-goals:

  1. Establish a database of quality assured data.
  2. By using meta-analysis, identify key criteria for product characteristics that affect growth potential of Listeria.
  3. Investigate growth factors and product categories by performing new challenge tests based on experimental design.
  4. Verification by performing microbial analyses and durability studies of naturally contaminated products.
  5. Developing predictive models for groups of products and algorithms.
  6. Develop a web based user-friendly software.
  7. A business model will secure maintenance and payback from IP rights.

The project will develop a web based software for assessing growth of Listeria in meat products and other mixed products where meat is a main ingredient., This will give more accurate and specific results for shelf lives than the tools food business operators (FBO) have available today. Listeria is a challenge in ready-to-eat foods, and the risk management involve large expenses and time spent for the FBOs. Project team meetings are held regularly. ListWare project will establish a database with quality assured data collected from previously challenge tests, identify gaps in existing data regarding factors and hurdles affecting Listeria growth, set up criteria for acceptable variation for categorization of products, perform new challenge tests based on experimental design, and develop better predictive models and algorithms, verified by microbial analyses. Leading European experts will participate in the project. When the database and interface is ready, licenses for access will be sold in both Norway and international. A business model will be made, which also include consultancy from ListWare team for the users.

So far nine project meetings have been conducted with the participation of Norwegian food companies and researchers. A poster on the project was presented at the 10th predictive modelling congress in food, in Cordoba, Spain in September (http://www.icpmf10.com/ ) .

The project also arranged a workshop in Oslo with the participation of international Listeria experts from Spain, Italy, France, Germany and Norway. The theme of the project was on experimental design and key criteria for the growth of Listeria. Following this, there has been further discussions with statisticians on the best experimental setup for challenge studies (WP3).

The main work so far has been on ‘Literature Review’ (WP1), and ‘Identification of key criteria for growth/reduction and developing algorithm’ (WP2). Work is already under way with roast beef and meatballs. The work will be summarized in a review article. A working group is currently surveying the available software in the market. This will be gathered in a database with results and product information from earlier challenge studies. It is planned to build an Oracle-database. pH measurement has been carried out in a large number of selected meat products to provide input to the software programming.