This is an excerpt from a piece we wrote and published in Food Safety Tech. You can read the full article here.

 

The food industry is beginning to transition into an era of big data and analytics, unlike anything the industry has ever experienced. However, while the evolution of big data brings excitement and the buzz of new possibilities, it also comes coupled with an element of confusion due to the lack of tools for interpretation and lack of practical applications of the newly available information.

 

As we step into this new era and begin to embrace these changes, we need to invest time to educate ourselves on the possibilities before us, then make informed and action-oriented decisions on how to best use big data to move food safety and quality into the next generation.

 

One of the big questions for big data and analytics in the food safety industry is the exact origins of this new data. Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) is one new and disruptive technology that will contribute significantly to a data explosion in our industry.

 

NGS-based platforms offer the ability to see what was previously impossible with PCR and other technologies. These technologies generate millions of sequences simultaneously, enabling greater resolution into the microbial ecology of food and environmental surfaces. They allow us to focus more on truly assessing the safety and quality of our products by providing a deeper understanding of the molecular makeup of our food.

 

To read the entire recap of our talk at the 2018 Food Safety Consortium, click here.

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