Nicola

Microbiologist

How did you become an expert in microbiology?
I went to Plymouth University to study microbiology where I also did my Doctorate in environmental microbiology. I have worked in the food industry for 20 years, gaining extensive practical and theoretical knowledge. This enables me to share a wealth of experience, providing objective advice regarding the food safety of products and processes.

What has been the most interesting project you have worked on while at Samworth Brothers?
I enjoy it most when a business fully integrates me as part of their team to help solve problems. I am able to bring a fresh pair of eyes as well as a different viewpoint and specialist area of expertise. This may include projects like product shelf life extension, new ways of working to increase site hygiene even further and new product design.
Nicola
What interesting facts about microbiology can you tell us?
• One single teaspoon of soil contains one billion bacteria, 120,000 fungi and 25,000 algae.
• Microbes have been around longer than anything else on Earth. If you imagine Earth began as a single day, then microbes appeared at 5am; dinosaurs appeared at 10pm; and humans appeared seconds before midnight.
• There are more microbes on one person’s hand than there are people on the planet.

Can you talk about any forthcoming projects you will be involved in?
As a microbiologist, my scope of work not only focuses on food safety due to pathogens but, as a scientist, I also get involved with horizon scanning for upcoming hot topics such as authenticity of ingredients used in products and the techniques used to prove country of origin or meat species.