UNIMORE MICROBIAL CULTURE COLLECTION (UMCC)
as a platform
for selection and preservation of microorganisms
useful for food and industrial application
In Italy, the food and beverage industry represents the third most important sector of the National manufacturing sector in terms of added value produced. Even during the emergency due to Covid-19, the Italian food industry has proven to be a sector capable of supporting the Country’s economy, while highlighting the strong need to urgently develop a pluriannual plan of actions able to promote investments for technological innovations. Indeed, there is a growing consumers awareness towards food quality, food safety and health aspects. Moreover, a strong preference for “clean label” foods with high added value and low environmental impact has emerged.
In this regard, the study and preservation of microbial biodiversity are fundamental for the research and biotechnological applications of microorganisms in various fields, including food. In fact, some microbial cultures are particularly useful to produce enzymes, antibiotics, prebiotics, probiotics, polymers, antimicrobial agents and much more. Therefore, the qualified microbial collections have a fundamental role in research, selection and preservation of microorganisms of food interest.
Among the Italian collections, UMCC, located in Reggio Emilia (Italy) and belonging to the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Department of Life Sciences), boasts a long experience in the acquisition, study and ex-situ conservation of “authenticated biological material” and associated genomic data, with the aim of offering services to support research, teaching and technology transfer to industry and private institutions.
Specifically, UMCC holds about 3,000 microbial cultures including yeasts, lactic acid bacteria and acetic acid bacteria used for the implementation of functional starter cultures to be applied in food and industrial fermentation processes. UMCC is an Internationally recognized collection, affiliated to the World Federation for Culture Cultures (WFCC) and the European Culture Collection Organization (ECCO). Moreover, UMCC is one of the five founding partners of the Joint Research Unit MIRRI-IT (http://www.mirri-it.it/) and is involved in the European project Horizon 2020 IS_MIRRI21 aimed at the development of a pan-European research infrastructure for access to collections of certified microorganisms and their derivatives
Author’s Info: Luciana De Vero