Food Research Institute, Slovak Republic

Výskumný ústav potravinársky – Food Research Institute, Bratislava, Slovakia is a research institute of the Slovak Ministry of Agriculture. The institute has 110 employees (77 research scientists; 92 women). Annual turnover of the institute is 6 mil. EUR. The institute coordinates several national research projects in the fields of food chemistry, microbiology and technology, and in food legislation and information. The institute participates in European and international projects and in activities of FAO WHO.
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Biology is active in research on the application of molecular methods in food analysis since 1993. Main research topics are molecular methods for the detection and identification of pathogenic bacteria in food (Salmonella enterica, Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Yersinia enterocolitica, Cronobacter sakazakii), detection of allergenic food components (peanuts, tree nuts, celery, gluten-containing cereals), analysis of microbial consortia in fermented food products (cheese, wine), and characterization of microorganisms involved in contamination of food technologies. The department is well-equipped for research in microbiology and molecular biology. The department currently employs 16 people (15 research scientists, 13 women). During last 5 years, the group has participated in 1 European, 3 international and 7 national research projects.

Website: Link

Contact Person: Thomas Kucha

VUP @ promise

VUP participated (mainly) in WP2 – Investigation of neglected indigenous routes of transmission of foodborne pathogens.

Participation in the PROMISE project was a step of implementation of state-of-the-art research techniques to food safety in Slovakia. For more than 20 years, our group studies certain practical aspects of food-borne pathogens, working on rapid DNA-based detection methods and on microbiological hygiene in food industry. Here we were given an opportunity to improve our methodological competence and to enter new fields of effective application of molecular approaches. Members of the research group were Tomas Kuchta, Eva Kaclikova, Jana Minarovicova and Janka Korenova. Tomas Kuchta was a local co-ordinator, dealing mostly with scientific and theoretical aspects of the research. Eva Kaclikova did most planning of experiments, dealing with microbiological and practical problems. Jana Minarovicova and Janka Korenova did most of the experimental and laboratory work in microbiology and molecular biology laboratories, the former dealing also with administrative tasks. An extensive experience was taking 423 samples from food-processing SMEs, including surface swabs, material samples and finished products. Although Listeria monocytogenes was not isolated so frequently as scientists would like, the food producers could be happy to learn that efforts and changes at entering the EU in 2004 were quite useful. Participation in the project was a special benefit to Janka Korenova, who spent a month at UVM Vienna learning molecular sub-species typing techniques.