Florence Baron

Teacher researcher in microbiology

Department of Animal and Food Science

Teaching unit: Microbiology
Research unit: Science and technology of milk and eggs

Academic background

After a PhD thesis in the ENSA Rennes (1999) on « the behaviour of Salmonella Enteritidis in egg white », I became assistant professor in food microbiology in the laboratory of Microbiology in the Department of Animal and Food Science in AGROCAMPUS OUEST (UMR1253 INRA-AGROCAMPUS OUEST Science and Technology of Milk and Eggs). My general research area relates the microbiology of egg product. 


  • Course and practice on molecular biology and microbiological methods.
  • Course, practice and case study in factories on food quality and safety. 

Research topics

My research is focusing on the microbiology of egg products and on the relationship between micro-organisms and this food matrice. This research thematic was initiated by myself during my thesis and became extensive with the arrival of Sophie Jan in 2004. Our research is organized into two major areas.
The first area focuses on the study of the antimicrobial activity of egg white. Egg white is recognized as a protecting environment for embryo with a lot of bacteriostatic and bactericidal activity not yet understood. We want to know what molecular structures or complex molecular systems interact with micro-organisms and are involved in the anti-microbial activity of egg white and what are the mechanisms and the physiological targets involved in bacteria.
The second area concerns the control and hygienic improvement of egg products. We study the influence of technological processes and hen breading practices on the contamination of egg products to propose relevant ways of control. Currently, our research focuses on bacteria belonging to the Bacillus cereus group. Some strains of this group produce toxins in foods (emetic) and / or in the human intestine, which may induce emesis or diarrhoea, respectively. They also present a broad spectrum of enzymatic activities that may be responsible for egg product spoilage, even at low temperature when psychrotrophic strains are involved.
We try to better understand the level of eggshell contamination, the species encountered, their ability to germinate, to grow and produce toxin at low temperatures in the egg products, and their ability to colonize the industrial surfaces.
The aim is to get new insights on the risk associated with these bacteria in the sector of egg production and to consider relevant ways to control contamination. The control of this risk is a major competitive challenge for egg product manufacturers.

Main publications

My publications on HAL INRAE