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The Listeria monocytogenes bacterium is a pathogen germ that can infect food. It causes severe clinical condition to infants and adults, with weak immune system and serious complications in fetuses.

Usually, these aggravating microorganisms for humans, either do not grow or delay their development at a temperature below 5o C. However, Listeria is hydrophilic and survives at very low temperatures. Furthermore, some of the potentially contaminated food products are those of animal origin which do not undergo satisfying heat treatment, such as cold cuts.

The Laboratory of Food Quality Control and Hygiene of the Agricultural University of Athens, undertook a survey, which offered useful and important information about the influence of temperature and water activity on the growth of ‘Listeria’ in delicatessen products undergoing heat treatment.

The model which can define the commercial lifetime of animal origin products


This research had as a main goal to protect meat by pathogenic microorganisms such as psychrotrophic Listeria monocytogenes. The temperature is the most important factor that affects the growth of bacteria into delicatessen products, since the salt and the included nitrifies are not capable of preventing the growth of the pathogen.

In order to predict the growth of the microorganism, a model has been developed, capable to provide rapid and reliable predicts. Research results for this specific bacterium, have shown that small changes in environmental factors can affect its growth significantly. The validation of the prediction model for the kinetic behavior of L. monocytogenes, took place under both stable and changing storage temperatures.

In conclusion, the definition of the boundaries increase and of the kinetic behavior of L. monocytogenesi in meat products undergoing heat treatment is possible with prediction models developed in this study. These parameters are necessary for the definition of upper limits during crucial control phases in the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) applied businesses processing and treating meat products.

Aristidis Daskalopoulos Foundation (IAD)

1st International Competition of research work on issues of Science and Technology of Foods and Nutrition (2006)

The research of the Agricultural University of Athens won 1st best paper prize (escorted by 10.000€) in the competition about «Science Nutrition – Nutrition and Health» hosted by the IAD and addressing all Greek researchers, who are active both in Greece and abroad. The competition was initiated by IAD in 2005, and gave the opportunity to many young researchers to participate, broaden their knowledge, achieve self-promotion, but also for their research work to be rewarded.


Marios Mataragas, Lecturer, E. H. Drosinos, P. Siana, P. Skandamis, Lecturer and J. Metaxopoulos.

Laboratory of Food Quality Control and Hygiene, Department of Food Science and Technology.