Food – Beverages


Molecular Analyses
Applications in the Food & Beverage Industry

In recent years, global population growth and modern lifestyles have led the Food & Beverage industry to mass production and automation in order to meet the needs of consumers. The result has been the introduction of consistent, demanding and in many cases complex legislation and operating regulations in order to produce safe and high quality products.

To meet safety needs, HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) was created, which consists of a series of guidelines and protocols covering all the processes of an industry and is adapted according to the final product.

In short, a producer must be able to:

  • Identify the physical, chemical and microbiological hazards of the production process and take the necessary measures to protect against these hazards,
  • Define the critical points in the production flow (key points for the final quality), establish acceptable limits and carry out regular checks,
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the control system and take corrective action where necessary.

``I apply all the required microbiological controls, why should I approach Smallomics?``

The microbiological requirements of the legislation focus, on the one hand, on the absence of strains of species (Salmonella, Shigella, Listeria, Escherichia, Coliforms, etc.) that pose a risk to public health and, on the other hand, on a relatively low number of total bacteria, which are the “golden standard”. However, these analyses are already 50 years old, have not been significantly revised and do not assist in the complex issues of high quality and improvement of the final product.

At Smallomics, following the latest technological developments, we are able to apply the most innovative “New Generation Sequencing” (NGS) techniques with multiple benefits for Food & Beverage producers.

By sequencing the DNA of a sample and the bio-statistical analysis provided by our experienced and highly trained staff, the entire microbial composition is mapped, covering key needs such as:

  • Diagnosis of production failures from direct or indirect microbial causes, and the critical point at which they occur. This includes:
  • Detection and quantification of the micro-organism(s) and their biological mechanism(s) causing spoilage,
  • Explanation of off-limits chemical measurements, as their absence/presence is usually due to the metabolism of the micro-organisms,
  • Identification of microbial causes of unacceptable organoleptic characteristics (turbidity, malodor, discoloration, etc.),
  • Prediction of short-term adverse changes leading to unacceptable batches. Very important advantage over diagnosis. Scheduling regular analyses on a production line enables us to create a database that is constantly enriched with new data, resulting in comprehensive monitoring of production over time.
  • Significant assistance in research & development of new products (R&D)
  • Consulting for the implementation of modifications to the production process

Fermentation Products

Especially for fermentation products where the presence of specific “good” micro-organisms is essential and provides desired organoleptic characteristics (cheese, yoghurt, pickles, wine, beer, etc.), Smallomics can identify:

  • The effectiveness or end of fermentation
  • The microbial factors that lead to failures in the final product

  • The authenticity of the raw and a supporting ingredients. Is my ingredient what the supplier claims?
  • The existence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Cause of quality degradation
  • Antibiotic resistant genes (ARGs). They pose a risk to public health and the environment

The control strategy varies and is determined according to the type and requirements of the Food or beverage being tested.