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EU Food Integrity Project - FA0155

Providing assurance to consumers and other stakeholders about the safety, authenticity and quality of European food (integrity) is of prime importance in adding value to the European Agri-food economy. The integrity of European foods is under constant threat from fraudulently labelled imitations that try to exploit that added value. The FOODINTEGRITY project will directly address this issue and will be an international focal point for harmonisation and exploitation of research and technology for insuring the integrity of European food. Comprising an inner core of project participants from industry, academia, research institutes, technology providers and a global network of stakeholders, FOODINTEGRITY will rationalise and harmonise capability to provide a coherent structure and process for assuring the food supply.
Specific objectives relevant to Defra co-funding:
Consolidate available information on existing datasets, available methodology and establish a tangible and interrogatable knowledge base that will facilitate data sharing between European stakeholders. [KnowledgeBase, WP2]
Specific Fera objective 2.3.2 Develop a suitable infrastructure for an online searchable Food Integrity database (Partner 1)
Month 36

Develop fit for purpose verification methods and systems for three food commodities that are most significantly affected by adulteration and fraud (olive oil [WP4]
Specific Fera objectives/involvement
Task 4.3 Harmonizing methods
Subtask 4.3.1 Harmonisation of trade standards inside and outside EU
Subtask 4.3.2 Developing objective methods for sensory quality assessment
Subtask 4.3.3 Determining quality parameters of non-targeted profiling methods

Develop and test an early warning system for use by stakeholders that can identify potential food fraud events. [FoodFrame, WP8]
To build up a framework to enable assessment of probability of fraud in food chain/s. And implement it in a user-friendly tool (Food Fraud early wArning systEM: FRAME-Fraud).
Sub objectives
• Develop a structured approach for collecting and analysing information required for identifying reliable indicators to use for horizon scanning of possible EU food chain fraud events.
• Build innovative approaches to identify food items most vulnerable to fraud (Multi Criteria Decision Making Tool: mechanical step) and estimate probability of fraud events implicating these (non mechanical step).
• Prioritise possible EU food chain fraud events based on probability of fraud and impact assessment (health, environment, socio-economic).

Provide practical tools and systems that can be integrated into food industry production and supply chains for assuring the integrity of food [Industrial Integration, WP10]
Fera will contribute to:task 10.2 Develop rapid and cost effective screening technologies with the aim of meeting the needs of official-member-states and industry control laboratories, i.e. fit-for-purpose science at minimum cost.

Task 10.2 Explore the potential profiling/fingerprinting/targeted or non-targeted methods on industrial production lines and pilot plants as a proactive system that assures the integrity of the food chain (e.g. verification, origin mapping), evaluating their effectiveness and repeatability/reproducibility and defining robust performance criteria. (P19, 26, 1, 12, 13, 7, 15, 2)
Task 10.4 In collaboration with WP1, development of a “Food Integrity Information Hub” through:
- identification and generation of a stable contact/interaction with the key interlocutors in all the European food organizations/associations which have a direct interest in food integrity issues
- organization of “surveys” to identify the needs and concerns of their affiliates and members
- organization of targeted meetings among food associations representatives and the Food Integrity project experts, sharing intelligence on the incidence of food frauds and detection methodologies and tools to fight against it. (P19, 1, 10, 6).
Task 10.5 Development of industry guidelines and toolboxes for the industry:
- working end-to-end systems that can be used as templates for further applications
- practical and easily readable manuals (internet supported). An example can be a so-called “food authenticity communication manual” dedicated to all supply-chain actors (including processors and retailers) about how to achieve the best consumer communication to different target consumer groups
- cost-effective ways to implement labels authenticity claims (such as proven molecular markers) which can give more visibility to the industry, improving economic outcome of the products and being easily and objectively verifiable at the same time. (P19, 26, 1, 11, 27 & 2).

Task 11.1 Half day workshop on determining geographical origin at Fera, Sand Hutton on 28/02/14. The event will present the state of the art and comprise of preeminent experts in the field. Audience 50-70 attendees.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2014

To: 2018

Cost: £153,141
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Food Chain              
Food manufacturing industry              
Food Processing Sciences              
Food Safety