Food safety

All food is subject to contamination during its preparation by pathogens, that’s why we have a team of experts in the CRTAA  which oversees safety and control of food quality. This division also ensures continuous control of the hygiene and safety of food as well as the maintenance of its healthiness.

Research Themes

The safety of food products is a global public health issue. For this, a risk assessment before placing on the market is essential to ensure that the potential presence of these substances in foodstuffs does not present any chemical or physical danger on the consumer health.

Chemical contamination can come from substances used during the processing, preservation and distribution of foodstuffs on farms or agri-food industries, but also from a degraded agricultural environment that inadvertently ends up in the food. The levels of these substances in foods are monitored. Therefore, those with levels exceeding these standards cannot be marketed.

The application of microbiology covers many fields of activity. These have a real advantage in the food industry, in particular allowing the large-scale manufacture of a large number of products. Indeed, microorganisms such as yeasts, bacteria and fungi are involved in the production of yoghurts and cheeses by fermentation. Consequently, these products are tastier and easier to digest and keep longer. In addition, yeasts are used in the manufacture of bread and alcoholic beverages. Furthermore, some proteins produced by microorganisms are used as thickeners and emulsifiers. As a result, these microorganisms are considered to involve significant industrial activity.

A quality food is a food that meets the daily needs of consumers. The food sector includes three food quality criteria such as: nutritional value, sanitary and hygienic quality and organoleptic quality.

Food quality control is essential especially for the food sector with the objective of determining the conformity of a product and ensuring consumer food safety.

The agri-food industry is currently seeking the nutritional optimization of food products by reducing certain ingredients in food products in order to minimize their harmful health risks, such as sugar, salt and fat contents. This industry has implemented many standards to achieve optimal hygienic quality of food products during their manufacture until they reach the consumer.

Having an organoleptic quality and a pleasant taste is also one of the concerns of the food industries and they place great importance on innovation in the organoleptic quality of food.

Once the product is manufactured, all information concerning the composition, nutritional and energy value of a food must be indicated on the packaging of food products to inform the consumer of what the food he is consuming is made of.

All these new techniques used in industries to improve the quality of food products must be subject to regulatory standards in order to ensure food safety and protect the consumer.

In order to better understand the preferences and/or dislikes of consumers, it is necessary to carry out a sensory evaluation of foods. The latter uses Man as a measuring instrument by appealing to all his senses whether it is smell, taste, touch, hearing or sight.

Most sensory and consumer testing is conducted with the aim of predicting both product and consumer behavior in reality; i.e., determining the sensory and organoleptic properties of foods and their activity on the various sensory receptors. If we are interested in the hedonic dimension, an appeal must be made to so-called “naive” consumers; that is to say, those who are not trained in sensory evaluation methods but are chosen according to their consumption habits of the type of product to study.

Hedonic methods focus on consumer preferences and aim to compare the appreciation of products by focusing on individual feelings related to the pleasure or displeasure caused by the food.

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