Irish food businesses face constant challenges to be competitive, sustain existing markets, discover new markets and comply with a demanding regulatory environment. Teagasc working in conjunction with other national development agencies provides a comprehensive support service for the food processing industry. This support service involves providing practical technical supports and advice for food companies in solving technology issues and also provides client businesses with access to new knowledge and technology outputs from an extensive food research programme at Teagasc. This service is delivered by scientists and technologists at its two well resourced food research centers in Ashtown, Dublin and Moorepark, Cork. Teagasc is working in close collaboration with Enterprise Ireland and with other national and regional food development agencies in supporting the food sector.

Recent Submissions

  • The harmonized INFOGEST in vitro digestion method: From knowledge to action

    Egger, Lotti; Ménard, Olivia; Delgado-Andrade, Cristina; Alvito, Paula; Assunção, Ricardo; Balance, Simon; Barberá, Reyes; Brodkorb, Andre; European Union; Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia; et al. (Elsevier BV, 2015-12)
    Within the active field of in vitro digestion in food research, the COST Action INFOGEST aimed to harmonize in vitro protocols simulating human digestion on the basis of physiologically inferred conditions. A harmonized static in vitro digestion (IVD) method was recently published as a primary output from this network. To validate this protocol, inter-laboratory trials were conducted within the INFOGEST network. A first study was performed using skim milk powder (SMP) as a model food and served to compare the different in-house digestion protocols used among the INFOGEST members. In a second inter-laboratory study applying the harmonized protocol, the degree of consistency in protein hydrolysis was investigated. Analysis of the hydrolyzed proteins, after the gastric and intestinal phases, showed that caseins were mainly hydrolyzed during the gastric phase, whereas β-lactoglobulin was, as previously shown, resistant to pepsin. Moreover, generation of free amino acids occurred mainly during the intestinal phase. The study also showed that a few critical steps were responsible for the remaining inter-laboratory variability. The largest deviations arose from the determination of pepsin activity. Therefore, this step was further clarified, harmonized, and implemented in a third inter-laboratory study. The present work gives an overview of all three inter-laboratory studies, showing that the IVD INFOGEST method has led to an increased consistency that enables a better comparability of in vitro digestion studies in the future.
  • Next-generation multiparameter flow cytometry assay improves the assessment of oxidative stress in probiotics

    Fallico, Vincenzo; Rea, Mary; Stanton, Catherine; Ilestam, Niclas; McKinney, Julie; Pfizer Consumer Healthcare (USA) (Elsevier, 2020-04-07)
    Stability of probiotic products’ potency throughout shelf life is essential to ensure systematic delivery of the dosages required to provide clinically-proven health benefits. Due to the oxygen sensitivity of gut-derived microorganisms, methods for the rapid and accurate monitoring of oxidative stress in probiotics are greatly needed as they can be instrumental to both bioprocess optimization and quality control. This study introduces a next-generation flow cytometry method multiplexing the CellROX® Green and Propidium Iodide probes for the simultaneous measurement of free total reactive oxygen species (ROS) and membrane integrity, respectively. The multiparameter method was compared to the single-parameter assays, measuring either ROS or membrane integrity, for the ability to evaluate the fitness of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) after freeze drying, spray drying and H2O2-mediated oxidative stress. Each stand-alone assay detected only three cell populations, showing either differential membrane integrity (Syto 24+/PI-, Syto 24+/PI+, Syto 24-/PI+) or ROS levels (ROS-, low-ROS, high-ROS), and no correlation could be drawn between these groups. Conversely, the multiparameter method detected up to five physiologically distinct cell populations and allowed the integrated assessment of their membrane integrity and oxidative stress. It also revealed a much larger fitness heterogeneity in LGG as each group of low-ROS and high-ROS cells was found to be formed by a healthier population with an intact membrane (L-ROS/PI-, H-ROS/PI-) and a population with damaged membrane (L-ROS/PI+, H-ROS/PI+). As the CRG probe only detects free unreacted ROS, these populations are suggested to reflect the dynamic lifecycle of ROS formation, accumulation and reactive depletion leading to oxidative damage of macromolecules and consequent cell death. With the stand-alone CRG assay being unable to detect ROS lifecycle, the multiparameter method here presented delivers a superior profiling of the heterogeneity generated by oxidative stress in bacteria and enables a more correct interpretation of CRG fluorescence data. We provide recent examples from literature where the use of a single-parameter fluorescence approach may have led to misinterpret oxidative stress data and eventually draw erroneous conclusions.
  • From Concept to Completion. A roadmap for Food Entrepreneurs

    Curtin, Aine; McCarthy, Paul; McDonagh, Ciara; O'Neill, Edward (Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), Ireland, 2006)
  • Technology transfer of research results (The 2xtra project)

    McDonagh, Ciara; Byrne, Briege; Troy, Declan J.; Mullen, Anne Maria; Downey, Gerard; European Commission; European Union (Teagasc, 2008-02)
    The 2XTRA project (Technology Transfer Research Results Atlantic Area) was carried out with the aim of promoting economic activity based on research results and technologies developed within universities, research and technology institutes and companies in the European Atlantic Area. This collaborative work was carried out by a strong partnership of 13 entities across this region and included universities, research and technology institutes, private consultants and TBC (technology-based company) incubators. The specific goals of the project were: ● The exchange of information and experiences on technology transfer (TT) with a view to assisting project partners directly and feeding into their regional innovation systems. ● The promotion of new technology-based companies by drawing on collective experiences and developing methodologies relating to - identification and evaluation of business ideas - production of business plans, and - support of early stage companies internationalising. ● The creation of an Atlantic Area Network to support and promote technology-based companies (TBCs) and the technology transfer process. These objectives were achieved through defined activities carried out in three separate stages of this project.
  • Nutritional enhancement of meat products with dietary fibres

    McDonagh, Ciara; Troy, Declan J.; Desmond, Eoin; McDermott, Helen (Teagasc, 2004-02)
    Normal fat (about 23 %) and reduced fat (about 10%) pork sausages and beefburgers were nutritionally enhanced using dietary fibres from various plant sources: inulin, wheat, citrus, potato, oat and pea.
  • Technologies for detecting PSE in pork

    Mullen, Anne Maria; McDonagh, Ciara; Troy, Declan J. (Teagasc, 2003-02)
    The ability of a single, on-line measurement to predict the quality status of an entire muscle or even of a whole carcass was investigated. Variation between pork muscles for on-line measurements of pH, conductivity and colour was evaluated. Intermuscular variation was detected at 24h p ostmortem with higher pH and conductivity values in the topside (M. s emimembranosus) than the striploin (M . longissimus thoracis et lumborum). Correlations showed that a relationship exists between the muscles (r = 0.46-0.88, p<0.05) at 45min and 3h p ostmortem. The location within the topside or the striploin at which the measurements were taken did not influence the result. Shackling did not introduce a significant variation between sides for pH, conductivity and colour values up to 24h p ostmortem, showing measurements could be taken on either side of the carcass.
  • Managing new food product development.

    Daly, Eimear; European Union (Teagasc, 2002-10)
    The future success of the Irish food industry depends on the ability of companies to develop new skills in a rapidly changing market environment. One such skill is the management of new product development. This report illustrates the impact that training in the product development process had on a range of small to medium enterprises. Training was delivered as a series of interactive workshops covering the key stages of the new product development process. Each company also received up to 7 days consultancy support to facilitate implementation of the learning.
  • Development of value-added beef products

    Desmond, Eoin; Troy, Declan J.; Kenny, Tony; McDonagh, Ciara; Ward, Patrick (Teagasc, 2001-05)
    This work investigated technologies to improve the functionality of beef, particularly low-value beef to increase its versatility for the development of value-added restructured and emulsion type beef products. More specifically the project objectives were (1) to increase the functionality of beef; (2) to develop innovative beef products; (3) to increase the use of low-value carcass cuts as a functional ingredient in beef products. The research was carried out in three stages: solubilisation of connective tissue components of beef using organic acids, application of proteases to beef model systems to increase functionality, and physical disruption of connective tissue in beef by mechanical treatments such as needle and blade tenderising, tumbling and massaging.
  • The competitiveness of the Irish food processing industry

    Pitts, Eamonn; O'Connell, Larry; McCarthy, B. (Teagasc, 2001-07)
    Ways of measuring industrial competitiveness are discussed and an analysis of the competitiveness of the food sector as a whole and of three sub-sectors are presented. The techniques employed were Revealed Comparative Advantage and the Porter Diamond.
  • The market for speciality foods in Ireland

    Meehan, Hilary; Murphy, Aidan; O'Reilly, Seamus; Bogue, Joe (Teagasc, 2001-05)
    The speciality food sector has experienced above average industry growth over recent years. Most speciality foods are produced in limited quantities using non-industrial artisan techniques. The majority of speciality food producing businesses were set up in the last fifteen years, have a turnover below €635,000, are based in a rural region and employ less than ten people. The most important markets for Irish speciality food producers are the export market, food service and multiple retailers.