Ivone Vaz-Moreira E-Mail
Researcher at Centro de Biotecnologia e Química Fina, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Portugal
Research Keywords: bacterial ecology; antibiotic resistance; metagenomics; water; bacteria taxonomy
Joana Bastos Barbosa E-Mail
Post-doctoral researcher at Escola Superior de Biotecnologia da Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Porto, Portugal
Research Keywords: biotechnology; microbiology; bioactive substances
The popularization of omics tools brings many challenges, mainly in terms of data analysis, but is mainly a wide window of opportunities. In the last years, the application of omics approaches (genomics, metagenomics, transcriptomics) has revolutionized the research in food microbiology, an area by tradition strongly relying on culture-based methods. Several topics can be covered by omics approaches such as the characterization of microbial communities in different food matrices, the effects of food processing and (bio)preservation on microbial population or the other way around, and the improvement of food quality. They can also be a valuable tool to improve food safety and quality control, for example, through the identification of foodborne pathogens and their virulence factors.
In this special issue, we want to have an overview of the potential of the omics tools to provide new insights into the complex microbial ecology of food systems, highlighting the importance that meta-analysis may have to a more comprehensive understanding of food microbiology and in the development of evidence-based solutions for the challenges of the food industry. The understanding of food microbiology should also include the complete food chain (from the ingredients/production to the consumer), as well as the effects that food consumption may have on the consumers, namely the human gut, considering a One-Health perspective.
The major focus is the application of high-throughput sequencing technologies, but integrated approaches with metabolomics and proteomics would also be considered.
Keywords: genomics; food safety; food quality; microbial diversity