|Type of Project||Applied research project|
|Type of Project||Development and innovation oriented (research) project|
|Keyword||African foods; Market entry; Food safety; Nutrition; Fermented cereal; Fermented salted fish and meat; Functional foods; Baobab; Jujube|
|Location||Benin; Ghana; Egypt; Madagascar; Senegal; Cameroon|
|Budget||3 876 874|
|Main Funder||Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) (FP7)|
|Coordinator||Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD)|
|Project Web Site||https://www.after-fp7.eu/|
AFTER : African Food Tradition Revisited by Research
A team of scientists and companies from the EU and Africa studied and improved the processing of African traditional food products. After analysing and improving the applied technologies in view of product safety and quality, and obtaining feedback from African and European consumers, manufacturing trials opened the way for product introduction to the EU and the wider African markets, together with better production conditions for workers in Africa.
Certain traditional African foods are almost unknown in Europe. Introducing such fare to Europe may prove economically beneficial, yet doing so would involve overcoming significant market entry barriers. The EU-funded AFTER (African food tradition revisited by research) project sought to apply European technologies and expertise to make the foods better in terms of safety and quality. The consortium selected 10 foods from three categories: fermented cereals, fermented salted fish and meat, and vegetable- and fruit-based functional foods.
Research goals included study of the necessary technologies and processes, improving traditional processes and nutritional quality, and facilitating entry into the EU market. Lastly, the team aimed to disseminate results to interested parties. Work began with detailing of the analytical methods to be used.
Following that, researchers carried out a comprehensive study of the products from six African countries. The stage involved detailing the necessary processing and technologies. Researchers also investigated perception of the products' sensory quality as perceived by both traditional processors as well as African and European consumers. Based on the consumer feedback, the team proposed improvements to traditional processes. The group tested the improved products for safety and nutritional quality. Testing also evaluated consumer acceptance and EU market entry requirements. Production trials involving African and EU companies provided information useful to food businesses, also in terms of improving conditions of workers in Africa.
The team disseminated the results to the private sector, including technical guidelines for each product. The new food products brought to the European and wider African markets by the AFTER project mean economic benefits for African and European businesses. In addition, the work produced general guidelines for similar efforts concerning other products and locations.