The Center for Produce Safety at the University of California, Davis, is awarding $2.1 million to fund 12 new food safety research projects.

The center reviewed 49 proposals, the most received since the annual awards began in 2008, according to a news release.

The Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit in Atlanta will include a session on the new food safety research.

“Imagine That! Food Safety Research with Real World Business Solutions,” is set for 9:15 to 10:45 a.m., Oct. 16.

Center for Produce Safety awards $2.1 million for researchThe center’s executive director, Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli, is the session’s moderator.

“The research being conducted at CPS is applicable to all points of the supply chain — farmers, shippers, handlers and consumers,” Stephen Patricio, advisory board chairman, said in the release.

The projects include the following, which start in January:

  • “Apple growing and packing microbial risk factors and their potential to lead to foodborne disease outbreaks,” Richard Pleus, Intertox Inc.
  • “Assessment of E. coli as an indicator of microbial quality of irrigation water use for produce,” Channah Rock, University of Arizona.
  • “Comparative assessment of field survival of Salmonella enterica and E. coli O157:H7 on cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) in relation to sequential cutting and re-growth,” Trevor Suslow, University of California-Davis.
  • ”Distribution of Salmonella in pistachios and development of effective sampling strategies,” Linda Harris, UC-Davis.
  • “Sanitization of soft fruits with ultraviolet (UV-C) light,” Xuetong Fan, USDA-ARS.
  • “Sources and mechanisms of transfer of Salmonella in the production and postharvest tree nut environment,” Linda Harris, UC-Davis.
  • “The role of riparian zones in bacteria dispersal to produce farms,” Martin Wiedmann, Cornell University.
  • “Toward a rapid and reliable pathogen detection system in produce,” Beilei Ge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration.

“These new programs really complement research from our first three years at CPS and provide depth from which our stakeholders can develop science-based food safety programs,” Bob Whitaker, the center’s technical committee chairman, said in the release.

The technical committee that reviews the proposals is comprised of experts from industry, academia, government and non-governmental organizations.