Research projects - archive

Projects that ended in 2022/23

An online community and bespoke platform to conduct exploratory and product testing research.

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This project introduces a new tool for clients to conduct online consumer insights research. This tool can be useful to clients for early stage innovation and product development/product renovation as it quickly enables access to consumers using a bespoke online platform.

Outputs

Calorie reduction and fibre enhancement

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It is well recognised that fibre consumption is currently too low in the general public. This project explored developing products that were lower calorie but which were high in fibre. Part of the project looked at producing a high fibre drink (which was also used as a case study in the project about developing an online consumer research platform.

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Development of a wider range of antiviral efficacy tests

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Testing disinfectants for antiviral efficacy is vital if good hygiene is to be achieved. This project is going to expand the portfolio of antiviral efficacy tests available to industry from Campden BRI.

Development of an ELISA based detection system for C.botulinum toxin

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As part of our C.botulinum challenge test service we need to test for growth of the organism ad production of C.botulinum toxin. There is no off-the-shelf kit for this and on a previous methods project we developed an in-house ELISA test. Our goal is to get UKAS accreditation for this ELISA test to give a USP for our challenge testing services but further development needs to be done before this can occur. The ELISA was developed for type B and E toxin only and needs to be expanded to type F. Also it was developed on cooked and raw meats only and needs to be tested for other product types e.g. eggs and dairy, plant based foods, fishery products to show it is fit for purpose for the wide range of products we are currently challenge testing.

Development of methodology for fungal profiling

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Identification of fungi has traditionally relied on morphological and biochemical analysis of isolated colonies. Next generation sequencing offers an alternative way to profile a fungal population without the need to isolate and culture examples. This project will demonstrate the efficacy of this technique and showcase the advantages of the service to the food industry.

Outputs

Environmental labelling database

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Development of a database covering the environmental labelling requirements in all EU Member States.

Food law alert

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Staying abreast of changes to legislation and guidance in the food industry is a time consuming task. Campden BRI provides an ongoing service for Member companies who wish to stay informed of the latest developments.

Outputs

Hepatitis E virus - trial and implementation of new detection method

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Public Health England (PHE) (now UK HSA) established that hepatitis E virus (HEV) causes 100,000 infections per year in England. The infection causes liver disease which in some cases is very serious. The detection of HEV in swine and other animals has led to suggestions that human infection originates from the consumption of contaminated foods (i.e. the infection is a zoonosis). Studies from Japan and France show individuals became infected after consuming raw/undercooked pig, deer or boar meat. PHE studies suggests an association between the consumption of undercooked pork-based products e.g sausages and HEV infection. There is also some evidence that the virus is heat resistant and that “normal” cooking may not eliminate it. This project will develop and demonstrate a method for the detection of HEV in pork products.

Maintaining the CCAT cereal testing methods

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Campden BRI maintains and updates a set of cereals testing methods for the sector in consultation with an industrial working group (Cereals and cereal applications testing working group). The methods are provided free of charge to members on our website. The methods are used throughout the milling and baking industries.

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Minimising overprocessing in continuous flow heat processes

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This project is about trying to optimise continuous flow thermal processes to improve operational efficiency, reduce costs and improve product quality. When continuous thermal processes are established there are a number of significant safety margins that are applied. This project is basically exploring where we can safety challenge some of these safety margins.

Technical challenges with reducing or replacing single use plastics

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Plastic packaging is widely used for food and drink products. There is growing awareness of the environmental impact that some plastics can have when discarded irresponsibly – most noticeably with ‘single-use plastics’. There is a need to reduce or remove these plastics, but in doing so businesses often face significant technical challenges. Testing alternative materials for a range of food/drink applications and producing practical case studies. We’ll also explore consumer understanding of recycling and their acceptance of alternative packaging materials.

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Validating 'worst case' as emerging technologies enter the mainstream

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Emerging technologies for preservation are gaining in popularity. This includes technologies like high pressure processing, pulsed electric field processing, plasma technologies and others. When you set up a thermal preservation process you do so using 'worst case' conditions i.e. conditions that are going to make the product heat more slowly than in normal production. Things like adding an overfill of product or using a more viscous sauce are examples of 'worst case' for thermal processes. When it comes to new technologies, we don't always know what 'worst' case conditions actually are. This project is about trying to understand how to safety set process conditions for some of these newer technologies.

Quality and safety of cereal–based products and ingredients for the food and brewing industry

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Many sectors (including cereal, baking and brewing) rely on the quality and safety of cereal-based raw materials, ingredients and products. Analytical methods play an important part in assuring this. These methods must be developed, trialled, standardised, and validated.

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