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Camin F.,IASMA Fondazione Edmund Machinery | Wehrens R.,IASMA Fondazione Edmund Machinery | Bertoldi D.,IASMA Fondazione Edmund Machinery | Bontempo L.,IASMA Fondazione Edmund Machinery | And 5 more authors.
Analytica Chimica Acta | Year: 2012

In compliance with the European law (EC No. 510/2006), geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs must be protected against mislabelling. This is particularly important for PDO hard cheeses, as Parmigiano Reggiano, that can cost up to the double of the no-PDO competitors.This paper presents two statistical models, based on isotopic and elemental composition, able to trace the origin of cheese also in grated and shredded forms, for which it is not possible to check the logo fire-marked on the rind. One model is able to predict the origin of seven types of European hard cheeses (in a validation step, 236 samples out of 240 are correctly recognised) and the other specifically to discriminate the PDO Parmigiano Reggiano cheese from 9 European and 2 extra-European imitators (260 out of 264 correct classifications). Both models are based on Random Forests. The most significant variables for cheese traceability common in both models are δ 13C, δ 2H, δ 15N, δ 34S and Sr, Cu, Mo, Re, Na, U, Bi, Ni, Fe, Mn, Ga, Se, and Li. These variables are linked not only to geography, but also to cow diet and cheese making processes. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. Source

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-20-2015 | Award Amount: 6.91M | Year: 2016

Strength2Food is a 5-year, 6.9 million project to improve the effectiveness of EU food quality schemes (FQS), public sector food procurement (PSFP) and to stimulate Short Food Supply Chains (SFSC) through research, innovation and demonstration activities. Our 30-partner consortium representing 11 EU and 4 non-EU countries combines leading academic, communication, SME and stakeholder organisations to ensure a multi-actor approach. It will undertake case study-based quantitative research to measure economic, environmental and social impacts of FQS, PSFP and SFSC. The impact of PSFP policies on balanced nutrition in schools will also be assessed. Primary research will be complemented by advanced econometric analysis of existing datasets to determine impacts of FQS and SFSC participation on farm performance and survival, as well as understand price transmission and trade patterns. Consumer knowledge, confidence in, valuation and use of FQS labels and products will be assessed via cross-national survey, ethnographic and virtual supermarket-based research. Lessons from the research will be applied and verified in 6 pilot initiatives, focusing on less-developed and transition regions. These initiatives bring together academic and non-academic stakeholder partners in action research. The six pilot actions are: a school meals initiative to improve the nutritional outcomes and economic benefits for local agri-food producers; in-store trials (undertaken with a grocery retailer) to upscale sales of local produce; a scheme to stimulate a sustainable SFSC that adds value to the fishing community; and pilot actions to expand regional food labelling; increase sales of FQS products in non-traditional markers; and improve returns to local producers at food fairs and farmers markets (via a smartphone app). Project impact will be maximised through a knowledge exchange platform, hybrid forums, school educational resources, a Massive Open Online Course and practitioner recommendations.

The EU integrated approach to food safety needs effective control systems to assure safety and quality standards all along the food chain, including animal feed. This is not always straightforward, since several actors are involved in the chain, in some cases not from EU. Following regulation EC 767/2009, which has defined new rules on the placing on the market and use of animal feed, including requirements for labelling, packaging and presentation, a reliable and simple technical solution to measure the exact composition of compound feed for food animal is required by farmers to assure the quality of the final product (meat, milk or PDO cheese) and to certify compound feed sold, even in the form of bulk and within the same area. Presently existing analytical methods are sophisticated and not accessible to SME and small regional producers. The FEED-CODE project aims to develop a reliable, simple and cheap methodology and instrument for the fingerprinting of each individual plant species used in compound feed, through the tubulin-based polymorphism (TBP) method, which, in contrast to other PCR-based methods, does not require detailed knowledge of DNA sequences, but identifies the specie through a simple DNA barcode. This allows to quantify the presence of each individual components in complex mixtures, even in case of very small amounts (detection limit <1% weight). The tangible outcomes of FEED-CODE will be: 1. Specific probes for the identification of 30 plant species of European Catalogue of feed materials; 2. Easy to use and automatic FEED-CODE instrument for reliable and precise detection of plant species in compound mixes; 3. New standard procedure for labeling animal feed, in compliance with EC regulation and with the needs for quality and anti-fraud certification of farmers and PDO producers. The consortium has a consistent and widespread representation of the sector, guaranteeing direct audience of more than 2 million farmers in Europe.

Coloretti F.,University of Bologna | Chiavari C.,University of Bologna | Nocetti M.,Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano Reggiano | Reverberi P.,Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano Reggiano | And 3 more authors.
Dairy Science and Technology | Year: 2016

Cheese milk “maturation” during natural creaming in large flat vat is a critical step in the production of Parmigiano–Reggiano cheese. Thanks to an improved management, during the last years, a generalized reduction of mesophilic microbial counts has occurred, which did not favour an adequate increase in milk acidity during natural creaming. For this reason, some cheesemakers have introduced the practice to add a rate of natural whey starter in active fermentation in the evening milk to favourize its “maturation”. The aim of this work was to verify the effects of this practice on the characteristics of Parmigiano–Reggiano milk and on some chemical, microbiological and sensory properties of the ripened cheese. Thirty-six cheesemaking trials were carried out in a dairy: 12 with 0.2% of young whey starter addition, 12 with 0.4% and 12 as control. The addition of young whey starter improved the coagulation properties of the cheese milk and did not affect the normal succession of thermophilic and mesophilic lactic acid bacteria during the cheese ripening. The chemical composition of the ripened cheeses was not affected by the practice of whey starter addition. From the sensory point of view, the addition of natural whey starter improved the compliance scores and decreased the defects, as eyes and cracks. This work confirmed the empirical observations of some cheesemakers. The adoption of this technique has considerable technological importance, improving the coagulation properties of the milk and the sensory characteristics of the cheese. © 2015, INRA and Springer-Verlag France. Source

Malacarne M.,University of Parma | Summer A.,University of Parma | Franceschi P.,University of Parma | Formaggioni P.,University of Parma | And 7 more authors.
International Dairy Journal | Year: 2013

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of different storage conditions (12, 24, 36 and 48 h at 4-6 °C and 8-10 °C and 12 and 24 h at 13-15 °C) on chemical and physico-chemical characteristics, microbial growth and processing properties of raw bulk milk. Regardless of the temperature, cold storage of milk increased the content both of calcium and phosphorus in the resulting rennet-induced curd. Storage of milk at 4-6 or 8-10 °C resulted in a significant impairment of the rennet coagulation properties after 12 h of storage, particularly at 4-6 °C. A significant decrease in the creaming capacity of milk was observed in all storage conditions, particularly for milk stored at 13-15 °C. On the basis of these observations, storage on farms at a temperature of 8-10 °C, for a period not longer than 24 h, is recommended. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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