Lab Power: How fungi and anaerobes are driving the future of Food Industry
For food industry players, securing timely food & feed product approval is of no small concern. Hitting a certain window for market launch can be the difference between success and failure. Here at Biosafe’s laboratory, located in Kuopio, Finland, we find the answers the customer is looking for – or rather, depending on.
Our six-member lab team is well-versed in e.g. microbiology, molecular biology and toxicology. Lately, as business needs and research possibilities keep converging, more and more focus is being directed towards our fungi laboratory and our anaerobic facilities.
Most food enzyme applications are produced by filamentous fungi; they sporulate, and the spores can contaminate the entire laboratory, if not handled properly. With this in mind, Biosafe invested – in the summer 0f 2019 – in a full-scale fungi laboratory, where we can handle the production strain and keep other parts of the laboratory clean of possible spores.
We predict that the fungi laboratory will be instrumental in offering food sector players access to enzymes necessary for their operations. In the making of bread and beer, for instance, enzymes have a significant role to play. Thanks to our fungi lab, we can provide safe, cost-effective services for our clients.
Similarly, our anaerobic facilities have been designed to meet a certain need. Some bacteria – known as anaerobes – grow in the absence of oxygen and may even suffer or die if oxygen is present. Representatives of anaerobes may be found, for example, in the gastrointestinal tract microbes, and they require special culturing techniques that can only be performed in a laboratory. Biosafe’s lab features modern anaerobe facilities just for this purpose: to culture anaerobes when no oxygen can be present, or in boxes where the cells are exposed to a very small amount of oxygen.
But why is this significant? – Well, because many anaerobic microbes are isolated from the gastrointestinal tract, they are often used as probiotics. Probiotics themselves are living microorganisms that, when ingested, provide numerous health benefits. For instance, dozens of different probiotic bacteria can boost your health.
We have a range of services related to anaerobes and can, for example, perform safety-related tests for anaerobes (e.g. antimicrobial susceptibility test).
Our laboratory work is often instrumental in helping our customers in product development and product approval phases. This expertise enables a product approval process that is both efficient and quick, running smoothly from start to finish.
Our clients have come to depend on our knowledge of, for example, legislative requirements, guidelines, and EU decision-making process. We find it very motivating when we can solve – often quite complex – problems and help our customers overcome all hurdles on their way to a successful product launch.
Especially when we receive a difficult assignment that has been shunned by other laboratories, we are very excited about the prospect of a serious challenge. We’re always eager to put our methods and know-how into the test – and meeting the challenge is equally rewarding each and every time.
Jouni serves as Key Account Manager at Biosafe, having become a part of the company in 2013. Arja joined the Biosafe team as Laboratory Manager in April 2020. Both hold PhD degrees.