Identification and Quantification of Microorganisms by Infrared Spectroscopy in Food Systems



Murad Al-Holy




 The presence of foodborne pathogens is a critical safety attribute for high value, perishable food products.  Microbiological safety requirements for all food products are becoming more stringent, making the availability of rapid testing methods important.


There is a growing interest in the application of spectroscopic methods in agricultural and food industries. Methods based upon vibrational spectroscopic techniques, such as Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR: 2500 nm - 17 mm or 4000 - 600 cm-1) and short-wavelength near-infrared (SW-NIR: 600-1100 nm) spectroscopy have received considerably attention. Both FT-IR and SW-NIR methods are rapid and non-invasive, permitting a user to collect full spectra in less than a few seconds. FT-IR and SW-NIR techniques are based on light absorption and light scattering in tissue or food samples. The amount of light absorbed and scattered provides biochemical information about molecular composition and structure. FT-IR measures vibrations of molecules that modulate the molecular dipole moment. The absorbance FT-IR spectrum represents a “fingerprint” that is characteristic of biochemical compounds.


The goal of this project is to develop rapid, non-destructive, instrumental infrared (IR) methods to detect, discriminate and quantify foodborne pathogens in food systems. Additionally, to explore the feasibility of using Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) and near infrared spectroscopy along with multivariate statistical tools in identifying food-borne microorganisms.


Department of Nutrition and Dietitics

Faculty of Allied Health Sciences