Ref. 2018Agro10

On-line application form

Supervisor name and surname:
Mª Jose Beriain

Supervisor mail:

Title of the research project:

Safe, healthy and high-quality dishes prepared sustainably with local raw materials  

Description of the research project:

Dietary patterns in Spain have migrated from traditional dishes prepared at home to prepared dishes manufactured industrially. To ensure their safety and shelf life, the food is subjected to intense and / or prolonged cooking systems which can negatively affect its nutritional and organoleptic quality. Industrially processed foods are usually formulated with additives to improve taste and preservation. The WHO warns that the prolonged consumption of highly processed foods is associated with chronic-degenerative disease. Moreover ready-to-eat foods or meals poses the risk of survival and growth of Listeria spp. Clearly, there is a market opportunity to develop prepared dishes of high gastronomic quality, economic, convenient, but also healthy and safe. 2) The general objective is to develop healthy, safe and sustainable fifth-range meal dishes with a longer shelf life, prepared with beef from native breeds and fresh produce from local producers through the combined use of high hydrostatic pressures (HHP) and vacuum cooking at low temperature (Sous vide). Materials and methods: Three beef cuts of different tenderness (M. semimembranosus, longissimus dorsi lumborum and femoral quadriceps) from native breeds and meat analogue will undergo APH to develop the dishes. Also, produce from local producers will be procured and used. Universidad Pública de Navarra (UPNA) in collaborationwith Texas tech University willconductformulation and development of prepared dishes, determination of physical-chemical and sensory characteristics following standard methodologies.  HHP processing tests will consist of one or several pressurization alternate cycles using the APH FOODLAB 900 team of the UPNA. Response surface methodology will be used to evaluate the effects of temperatures (60-90 ºc) and times (60-180 minutes) of Sous vide cooking of vacuum-packaged samples with a SV-thermo cooking bath. Cooking loss will be determined in duplicate. Textural analyses will include Warner-Bratzler shear force, and texture profile by double compression, deformation force and other parameters. Also, microstructure changes will be detected with a scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with X-ray fluorescence probe (EDX). Meat color will be measured using a spectrophotometer. Analysis of aromatic compounds will be performed on an GC and an equipped with multimode inlet (mmi), with an automatic liquid sampler, and capillary flow technology for column backflushing. Universidad de la Rioja, in collaboration with TTU will be in charge of shelf life and microbiological analyses(countsof Mesophilic, Enterobacteria, Escherichia coli spp and STEC count and S. Aureus, presence of Salmonella sppand Listeria monocitogenes). Universidad de Zaragoza will be involved in (i) Identification of risk factors in the process by characterizing the contamination of food with different biological agents(ii) Knowledge of the molecular subtypes of the isolates that will provide information on the niches or reservoirs in that industry and epidemiological information for the risk assessment of this pathogen. (iii) Confirmation of the positive samples by PCR-Real time (Listeria monocytogenes ...) and (iv) Study of this type of agents during the shelf life of prepared dishes (distribution and sale). Finely, this research project is linkage with the suitable Action Plan of Campus Iberus:“Platos preparados seguros, saludables y sostenibles 

PHD Programme:

Doctoral programme in Agrofood

Public University of Navarra

Supervisor short biography:

Maria Jose Beriain, is a professor of Nutrition and Food Science at the Universidad Pública de Navarra (Spain). She has participated in 40 research projects with public funding. She has collaborated with domestic and international research centers and universities for conducting 25 projects with private SMEs funding (e.g., Tegasc en Ireland, and University of Illinois), and co-authoring scientific and technical reports with peers from Texas Tech University, and La Universidad del Zulia (Venezuela). She has published 80 peer-reviewed journal articles, 15 book chapters, 100 abstracts in conference proceedings of domestic and international meetings, and she has served on 13 PhD, student committees. These projects have mainly been associated with the evaluation of meat quality and improvement of meat products and the developing new meat products, with especial interest in improving the nutritional profile.  These projects have involved the evaluation of several techniques for measuring carcass and meat quality, including ultrasounds, image analysis, Mid-infrared spectroscopy (MIR) and sensory analysis

Gross annual salary:

22.000-26.000 €
The employment contract in each recruiting institution will apply internal rules so final retribution might slightly differ

Working hours:
37,5 hours a week

Full time