Project Description

This project is focused in researching new technologies for improving control of Listeria monocytogenes in food industries.

Listeria monocytogenes is a food pathogen that causes great concern in food industries due to its ability to survive in low temperature and its high mortality rate in specific population groups such as pregnant women and the elderly. Current methods for controlling L. monocytogenes involve sampling of surfaces and foods, incubation, isolation and pathogen counting. These procedures require a microbiology laboratory and results are obtained after more than 48 hours.
To overcome these limitations, a multidisciplinary team of companies, universities and research centres has joined efforts in BioliSME project to develop new technologies for simplifying and speeding L. monocytogenes detection processes. Thus, better tools for ensuring food safety are made available to food industries.
This project ended in December 2011, reaching the objectives proposed. Resulting from the project are:
  1. A portable system for surfaces sampling. This device comprises a sampling head that attaches to surfaces and injects compressed air on the sampled surfaces to extract microorganisms. These microorganisms are collected in liquid suspension, allowing samples handling.

  2. A rapid and specific system for detecting Listeria monocytogenes, based on a immunoassay using specific antibodies labeled with fluorescent and magnetic particles. This allows isolating L. monocytogenes from the sample and estimating the amount of bacteria present by measurement of the fluorescence emitted.

  3. An integrated system combining the sampling and detection subsystems. These work in a sequential mode, allowing semi-automatic detection of L. Monocytogenes in less than 3 hours.

Project partners

  • Centro tecnológico Ainia (Spain)
  • Dublin City University (Ireland)
  • University of Southampton (United Kingdom)
  • Photek Ltd. (Reino Unido)
  • 40-30 (France)
  • Betelgeux (Spain)


  • 7th Framework Programme
  • European Commission (FP7-SME-2008-232037)


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