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Volume 2

Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology Reports

Microbial Biotechnology 2018

September 17-18, 2018

Microbial Biotechnology & Vaccine Design

September 17-18, 2018 Lisbon, Portugal



World Congress on

Escape of geneticallymodifiedmicroorganisms in the food and feed chain: Strategy to support enforcement


Marie-Alice Fraiture, Marie Deckers, Sigrid C J De Keersmaecker, Bas Berbers, Kevin Vanneste

Nina Papazova and Nancy H C Roosens Sciensano, Belgium

In the food/feed industry, GeneticallyModifiedMicroorganisms (GMM) are commonly used to produce food enzymes, food additives,

feed additives and food flavorings. For instance, around 50% of food enzyme producing microorganisms from the 304 submitted

dossiers to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for authorization are GMM. The use of GMM presents several advantages

such as an increase of the yield, an external secretion of the product using signal peptides, a production not constitutive of products

and a safer strain in inhibiting the possible toxin production. In the European Union, the use of GMM has to respect the following

regulations: EC/1332/2008 (food enzymes), EC/1333/2008 (food additives), EC/1831/2003 (feed additives) and EC/1334/2008 (food

flavorings). These regulations required the absence in the final product of viable production GMM and associated recombinant DNA.

Given that manufacturers are responsible for the quality control of their products, it is not mandatory to provide GMM-specific

detection methods to enforcement laboratories. However, accidental escapes of unauthorized GMM have already been reported

in 2014 (RASFF 2014.1249) and 2017 (RASFF 2017.1544). Therefore, there is a crucial need to develop a strategy for enforcement

laboratories to control the food/feed chain. This strategy includes the DNA extraction from GMM earlier isolated from the food/

feed matrix to subsequently perform a whole-genome-sequencing. Based on bioinformatics analysis, sequences of interest are

selected to develop GMM-specific detection methods that could be then directly applied on the food/feed matrices. However, the

implementation of this strategy could be challenging, especially with the sequencing of plasmids. This strategy will be tested on food

enzyme preparations in the frame of the SPECENZYM project.


Marie-Alice Fraiture is currently working as a scientific collaborator in transversal and applied genomics in Sciensano. She completed her PhD from Ghent

University, Belgium and have a work experience in the Plant Sciences Division at the University of Nottingham (Great-Britain) in the laboratory of Prof. Malcolm

Bennett. She has an expertise is in management and in collaboration of national and international projects, in detection of GMO in the food and feed chain, in

detection of arboviruses in human samples, in detection of GMO and pathogens in case of accidental/deliberate escapes and in development of tools (such as

high-throughput technologies) for applied genomics.

Marie-Alice Fraiture et al., J Microbio and Biotech Rept 2018, Volume 2