Impact of Bacillus cereus endospore evolution on food safety and stability 

01 January 2016 → 31 December 2019
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Other chemical sciences
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Nutrition and dietetics
  • Agricultural and food sciences
    • Agricultural animal production
    • Food sciences and (bio)technology
food safety
Project description

The Bacillus cereus (sensu lato) group encompasses important foodborne spoilers and toxigenic pathogens that are able to differentiate into extremely recalcitrant endospores that are often able to withstand the inimical conditions imposed by heat, sanitizers and radiation that tend to be in use throughout the food production chain. These inimical exposures range from being lethal to sublethal, and are therefore bound to constitute an important selection pressure that is likely to select for endospores with increased recalcitrance. However, (i) how fast and how far endospores can stretch their resilience to a particular stress, and to which extent this would (ii) be accompanied with endospore cross-resistance to other stresses, and/or (iii) affect the behavior of the corresponding vegetative cells in terms of spoilage and safety, remains to be elucidated. This proposal purposefully combines the expertise of three research groups to address the potential impact of B. cereus endospore evolution in the food production chain at the molecular, population and industrial level.