Next Generation of Microbiological Risk Assessment Meta-Omics: the Next Need for Integration

This paper belongs to a series of four publications prepared after the workshop on ‘Next Generation MRA (Microbiological Risk Assessment): Integration of Omics Data into Assessment’ celebrated in Athens in 2016 in collaboration with IAFP and ICFMH.

The development of a multi-omics approach has provided a new approach to the investigation of microbial communities allowing an integration of data, which can be used to better understand the behaviour of and interactions between community members. Metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metaproteomics and metabolomics have the potential of producing a large amount of data in a very short time, however an important challenge is how to exploit and interpret these data to assist risk managers in food safety and quality decisions. This can be achieved by integrating multi-omics data in microbiological risk assessment.

In this paper we identify limitations and challenges of the multi-omics approach, underlining promising potentials, but also identifying gaps, which should be addressed for its full exploitation. A view on how this new way of investigation will impact the traditional microbiology schemes in the food industry is also presented.

The paper is available here as open access.

For more information please visit the Microbiological Food Safety Task Force webpage.