Food research and microbial analysis.
The project: Food research and microbial analysis.
The challenge: Fierce competition among food supply companies to get products into supermarkets, growing legislation and increased consumer awareness has increased industry demand for food testing. People are more aware of where their food comes from and how long it is on the shelves. They are also more prone to allergies, and want to know if there are safe or healthy levels of such as nuts, fat, fibre, sugar and salt. Consumers are demanding more, and there is a greater need for food analysis as a result.
The purpose: Glasgow Caledonian is the only UK university with United Kingdom Accreditation Service accredited facilities in nutritional analysis of foods, and specialist equipment includes dedicated equipment which allows for the rapid detection and classification of bacteria relevant to food safety.
The people: Glasgow Caledonian University’s School of Health and Life Sciences. The food, microbiology and food safety area is led by Professor Kofi Aidoo. The department provides professional courses in food safety for companies leading to certification from the Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland, and is also working on Knowledge Transfer Networks with companies in the food and drink sector.
The outcomes: Professor Aidoo has been supporting companies, particularly SMEs, with advice on nutrition and dietetics, shelf-life testing and food safety and hygiene. He regularly works with companies on Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs), a UK-wide programme helping businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK knowledge base. Professor Aidoo has been appointed to sit on the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), the international scientific expert advisory board administered by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Health Organisation.
The impact: The University’s food analysis services are used by many blue-chip companies which rely on effective and efficient sampling and analysis, including such as whisky manufacturer William Grant & Sons and Scotbeef, a major supplier to the UK’s largest supermarkets.
This case study was published in May 2014