The facilities are specially constructed and completely sealed off in terms of air, wastewater and waste disposal in order to prevent contamination of the surrounding environment.

Patogen Pilot Plant

This pilot plant is a national hub and Europe's first high-security production facility. Here, researchers study life-threatening bacteria like Listeria monocytogenes and E.coli in a realistic production environment to prevent serious food poisoning.

Contact person
Portrettbilde av Askild Lorentz Holck
Askild Lorentz Holck

Senior Scientist
Phone: +47 416 89 102
askild.holck@nofima.no

Contact person
Portrettbilde av Helga Næs
Helga Næs

Research Director
Phone: +47 915 94 673
helga.naes@nofima.no

To ensure food safety, we need up-to-date knowledge about harmful bacteria. The safety requirements for producing life-threatening food items for research are very strict, which makes the pathogen pilot plant unique. The facilities are specially constructed and completely sealed off in terms of air, wastewater and waste disposal in order to prevent contamination of the surrounding environment. Here it is possible to research pathogenic bacteria in food during processing, packaging and storage, and to study the effects of different washing and disinfection methods. Researchers add bacteria, investigate how they behave, and develop methods for ensuring food safety.

New varieties of bacteria are constantly evolving. An important task is to increase knowledge about the bacteria’s ability to adapt to modified recipes and processes in food production.

Equipment at the pilot plant

  • Meat chopper / passing machine
  • Meat grinder
  • Sausage stuffer
  • Slicer
  • Fermentation chambers
  • Combi steamer
  • Cooking equipment
  • Conveyors
  • Vacuum and modified atmosphere packaging machines
  • UV-C cabinet
  • Pulsed UV equipment, including high intensity
  • Deconizer
  • Incubator chamber
  • Washing machine
  • Dishwasher

Food-borne disease outbreaks

A more globalised world means that food, both in the form of raw materials and finished products, is crossing borders to a greater degree than ever before. Increased variety in the food that is available to us provides greater diversity and food enjoyment, but it also increases the challenges in ensuring food safety. This means that decision makers, researchers and food producers must all continue to cooperate and in order to ensure food safety.

The number of food-borne outbreaks and illnesses is increasing, including in Norway. The pilot plant helps fulfil the need for more knowledge about this issue. We need better and safer methods to eliminate bacteria such as harmful varieties of Listeria bacteria or E. coli in food production.

The pilot plants at Ås

The Pathogen pilot plant is part of Nofima’s pilot plants at Ås, which also includes packaging hall, vegetable hall, fish hall, meat hall and bakery. These pilot plants are a platform for research, innovation, product development, courses, networks and teaching and are a part of the overarching Food Pilot Plant Norway research infrastructure.

NATIONAL RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE

The Nofima process halls at Ås are part of the National Research Infrastructure FoodPilotPlant Norway. It also includes the process facilities at NMBU (Norwegian University of Life Sciences).

 

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