We have two new professionals at Biosafe, a microbiologist and a bioinformatician, who gave their views on what is moving the needle in their areas of expertise.
Pilvi Ruotsalainen is a microbiologist with a PhD in cell and molecular biology. During the last decade, she has worked in microbiological research. She has built strong methodological experience in a variety of microbiological methods, and molecular biology methods like cloning, digital PCR, and sequencing. She is also experienced in cell cultures and protein purification with chromatography imaging with fluorescence and confocal microscopy.
|Minna Voutilainen is a bioinformatician with a Master's degree in Biomedicine, who has recently researched childhood leukaemias with the help of NGS (Next Generation Sequencing). Her work at Biosafe focuses on EFSA-required
analyses of whole genome sequencing data. She develops pipelines and data workflow for our clients to get their products approved.
A profound change to the food chain
According to both of our experts, they are seeing many more new solutions that can radically reduce the environmental impacts of our present food system.
Minna Voutilainen: Consumers are increasingly aware of how nutritious or unhealthy the food they eat is on a personal level. They are also more aware of how the food arrives on their plate, from production methods to its environmental cost. This is having a significant impact on how food producers are behaving. Companies are competing heavily on the different novel foods they can bring to the market.
Pilvi Ruotsalainen: At the moment, food producers are in a scramble to develop new and innovative food products. For example, the industry is trying to invent new meat substitutes that could be produced in a more sustainable way. A good example is the production of meat-like proteins made from microbial precision fermentation. I believe sustainable food production backed up by microbiological solutions can have a true impact on the world. That inspired me to join Biosafe.
Methodical scientific research for European consumer safety
Pilvi Ruotsalainen: I provide expert advice on microbiological analyses required by EFSA, the European Food Safety Authority. The core areas of my expertise are antibiotic susceptibility testing and testing the absence of viable cells of the production strain in products. I'm especially interested in bacterial culture and bacterial density determination, PCR methods, DNA and protein purification and analysis methods. These methods allow us to analyse microbial communities and find exactly what the new food solutions require in order to fulfil their purpose and also be safe to consume.
Minna Voutilainen: Whole genome sequencing data needs to comply with EU requirements. The bioinformatics analysis that I deal with includes a variety of methods: genome assembly and annotation, data analysis for screening of genes of concern, describing genetic modifications, data visualization and workflow development.
Pilvi Ruotsalainen: I work with the client from the very beginning and together we determine the need for different microbiological tests depending on the product and its production method. I keep the client informed of the progress of the tests throughout the process. We also have a very impressive team of people with broad and profound scientific expertise.
Minna Voutilainen: We're both new additions to the team, and our whole working community has welcomed us with such warmth that I feel very lucky to be part of such a professional and pleasant team!