FoBoS - Sharing molecular techniques for food-borne detection

FoBoS, coordinated by the University of Milan and developed in the food thematic area, aimed to address the improvement of the quality of life by developing and implementing a good practice for foodborne pathogen early detection.

Main objective

To analyze, implement and transfer a DNA-array based protocol in order to improve the effectiveness of regional food safety policies.


In order to improve the quality of life, a good practice for food-borne pathogen early detection should be developed and implemented. Due to food-borne diseases people can develop lifethreatening diseases, especially infants and elderly people. Therefore a balanced team of three university research groups and five private companies blend to analyze, implement and transfer a DNA-based protocol. At first the protocol should be customized to food-born detection and to several kinds of food matrices, including milk, cheese and meat. In the second phase, the procedure should be implemented in an industrial context. After validation of the protocol, it should be transferred to the agro-food and meal distribution companies, as well as to other relevant and interested stakeholders. They can implement it in their Hazard Analyses and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and other food-chain critical points.

Lead participant

  • University of Milan (Department of Animal Pathology, Hygiene and Veterinary Public Health) - Lombardy (I)


  • Autonomous University of Barcelona (Department of Animal and Food science) - Catalonia (E)
  • Estonian University of Life Sciences (Dept. Food sciences and hygiene, Institute of Veterinary medicine and Animal sciences) - Tartu (EST)


  • Nopri Talumeierei OÜ - Tartu (EST)
  • Arrigoni Battista s.p.a. - Lombardy (I)
  • Italatte s.p.a. - Lombardy (I)
  • Labuaq srl - Lombardy (I)
  • Milano Ristorazione - Lombardy (I)
  • EuroClone s.p.a. - Siziano (I)


The Standard Operative Procedures that were implemented in FoBoS allow the multiple detection of 23 pathogens in two hours. Two rapid methods were developed, one for low number analyses, and the other one for routine procedures. They both cope with the need to have a quick response during the early phase of food-borne disease outbreaks, which is essential to address healthy issues in child and elderly care facilities, where these infections are particularly life-threatening.