ArtiSaneFood : Innovative Bio-interventions and Risk Modelling Approaches for Ensuring Microbial Safety and Quality of Mediterranean Artisanal Fermented Foods

Project identifier 181-ARTISANEFOOD
Project Status ongoing
Start date 2019-06-01
End date 2022-05-31
Roadmap Theme
  • Agriculture and food systems for nutrition: Improved food value chains
  • Type of Project Development and innovation oriented (research) project
    Programme PRIMA
    Keyword artisanal foods; biopreservation; starters; antimicrobial extracts; decision support tool
    Location Portugal; Spain; Italy; France; Greece; Morocco; Tunisia; Algeria
    Budget 1 353 817
    Main Funder Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) (H2020)
    Coordinator Polytechnic Institute of Bragança (IPB)
    Partners
  • University of Cordoba (UCO)
  • USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
  • Agricultural University of Athens
  • French Dairy Interbranch Organization (CNIEL)
  • French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES)
  • Université Ibn Zohr
  • University of Bologna
  • Université de la Manouba
  • University of Oran
  • Project Web Site http://www.ipb.pt/artisanefood/
    Documents PRIMA funded projects 2018

    Description

    Context

    The Mediterranean region is known for being rich in traditional food products, and they constitute not only a vital part of the cultural heritage, but an important engine of many local economies. Thus, Mediterranean artisanal foods must be further valorised to improve their consumption and distribution; which, on the other hand, requires that local producers ensure the quality and safety of their products.

    Objectives

    The objective of this project is to develop efficient bio-intervention strategies, enhanced process criteria, and an easy-to-use food safety decision support IT tool for participating artisanal food producers, aiming to the reduction and control of food-borne pathogens in 15 artisanal fermented foods of meat or dairy origin produced in Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. The project will be developed through an integrated risk-based approach sustained by the concepts of (i) extensive tracking surveys in the artisanal food chains, in order to identify origin, routes of contamination, risk factors favouring pathogens’ survival, and technological causes for lack of homogeneity in the quality/ safety of end-products; (ii) biopreservation, whereby functional starter cultures and natural extracts will be assessed as extra hurdles to ensure safety and extend shelf-life; (iii) fate studies of pathogens, and (iv) risk process modelling, for the delineation of the most effective bio-interventions, optimisation of process variables and norms/standards, and design of quality monitoring tools.

    Expected impacts

    A safety decision-support IT tool will be developed to enable artisanal producers to assess the lethality of their traditional and newly-implemented biopreservation-based manufacturing processes against pathogens. Product deterioration will also be delayed, hence reducing the need of chemical preservatives and food waste. Uptake of the novel biopreservation technologies and quality monitoring schemes will bring about more efficient, harmonised and reliable food quality management systems of artisanal foods. Small regional businesses can thus become more competitive, and may reassuringly grow into companies of increased production and enlarged markets and exports opportunities. The producers’ ability to prevent food safety incidences that cause economic losses and consumers’ loss of trust will be enhanced. New business opportunities for locally-produced plant extracts, and bio-preservation solutions-providing spin-offs can be created.