From Gate to Plate: Improving the Safety and Quality of Our Food
Ever wonder how the beef in your dinner gets to your plate, and just how safe it is? Most Canadians never think about the journey their food takes from farm to table. But Dr. Michael Gänzle does. As Canada Research Chair in Food Microbiology and Probiotics, he is firmly focused on food safety and quality from “gate to plate.”
Gänzle’s aim is to assess bacterial resistance to environmental stress and improve the control of pathogens in animal farming. He and his research team are developing new technologies to improve the quality and preservation of our food and improve pathogen control.
Gänzle believes we can improve food safety and quality with better tools. To achieve this, he and his team are using lactobacilli to improve animal health and food safety. By converting plant defense compounds into potent antimicrobials, Lactobacilli are able to produce specific carbohydrates that interfere with infection caused by intestinal pathogens.
Gänzle and his team are also developing new technologies to address the pathogens that resist current food preservation technologies. Creating a technology to address pathogens in dry foods is particularly challenging because dry bacteria have a much greater resistance to chemical and physical preservation technologies.
Genomic tools have already greatly advanced our ability to understand pathogen resistance. Gänzle hopes to use that knowledge to improve the quality and safety our food.