News in Brief

USDA NIFA funds food safety projects

By Staff Reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: iStock/crazydiva
Picture: iStock/crazydiva

Related tags: Agriculture, Research and development

A US Department of Agriculture (USDA) institute is to fund projects on food safety.

National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) funding is through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

Fiscal Year 2016 grants, which include 59 awards​, totaling $24m have been given.  

Among FY16 projects, NIFA and the National Peanut Board are co-funding USDA Agricultural Research Service work to develop diagnostic tests for peanut and tree nut allergies.

As part of NIFA’s partnership with the US-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund, the University of California, Davis, will study how Salmonella colonizes lettuce crops for pre-harvest food safety methods in the fresh produce industry.

Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director, said: “NIFA support enables scientists to investigate and develop innovative approaches to detect and control microbial and other contaminants in our food, contributing to the production of safe, high-quality, nourishing food.”

University of Minnesota researchers will investigate use of cold plasma to decontaminate food and food-processing surfaces.

Ohio State University researchers will develop BPA (bisphenol A) free coatings to improve safety and maintain the shelf life of canned foods.

Related topics: Food safety and labeling

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