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Storcksdieck Genannt Bonsmann S.,European Food Information Council | Celemin L.F.,European Food Information Council | Larraaga A.,European Food Information Council | Egger S.,European Food Information Council | And 3 more authors.
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Year: 2010

Objectives: The European Union (EU)-funded project Food Labelling to Advance Better Education for Life (FLABEL) aims to understand how nutrition information on food labels affects consumers dietary choices and shopping behaviour. The first phase of this study consisted of assessing the penetration of nutrition labelling and related information on various food products in all 27 EU Member States and Turkey. Methods: In each country, food products were audited in three different types of retailers to cover as many different products as possible within five food and beverage categories: sweet biscuits, breakfast cereals, pre-packed chilled ready meals, carbonated soft drinks and yoghurts. Results: More than 37 000 products were audited in a total of 84 retail stores. On average, 85% of the products contained back-of-pack (BOP) nutrition labelling or related information (from 70% in Slovenia to 97% in Ireland), versus 48% for front-of-pack (FOP) information (from 24% in Turkey to 82% in the UK). The most widespread format was the BOP tabular or linear listing of nutrition content. Guideline daily amounts labelling was the most prevalent form of FOP information, showing an average penetration of 25% across all products audited. Among categories, breakfast cereals showed the highest penetration of nutrition-related information, with 94% BOP penetration and 70% FOP penetration.Conclusions:Nutrition labelling and related information was found on a large majority of products audited. These findings provide the basis for subsequent phases of FLABEL involving attention, reading, liking, understanding and use by consumers of different nutrition labelling formats. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRADEV-1-2014 | Award Amount: 3.09M | Year: 2015

RICHFIELDS Research Infrastructure on Consumer Health and Food Intake using E-science with Linked Data Sharing There is growing interest in consumer health as related to food, behaviour and lifestyle determinants. However, data is fragmented, key information is lacking, and the resulting knowledge gap prohibits policy makers and companies to make effective public health nutrition strategies and reformulation of food products. Making the healthy the easy choice requires knowledge on the context of personal life style choices of EU-citizens. RICHFIELDS will design a world-class infrastructure for innovative research on healthy food choice, preparation and consumption of EU-citizens, closely linked to their behaviour and lifestyle. This unique RI will bridge the gap by linking the agri-food and nutrition-health domains and account for the regional and socio-economic diversity of the EU. The RI will be instrumental to produce a scientifically reliable, technically sound and socio-legally robust evidence-base that enables scientists to efficiently collect, unlock, connect and share research data of EU-citizens. Consumers are central to the design: they harbour crucial information, as they increasingly adopt mobile apps and tech-wear, get access to e-business data and even medical information. Collectively, such real-life-time data create new opportunities for research, by e.g., monitoring of food-behaviour providing personalized feedback. For further testing, detailing and underpinning and theory-building, interfaces will be created to distributed facilities for experimental research, e.g., virtual supermarkets. Further enrichment of data is achieved via interfaces with information systems for food and health. The consumer-focus and the scientific evidence of RICHFIELDS will, via its services, be available to (a) EU-consumers and consumer platforms, (b) stakeholders along the food chain, and (c) policy actors in the agri-food and nutrition-health domain.

NanoPack will demonstrate a solution for extending food shelf life by using novel smart antimicrobial surfaces, applied in active food packaging products. It will run pilot lines in operational industrial environments to manufacture commercially feasible antimicrobial polymer films, accepted by consumers. It will minimize the amount of preservatives required to maintain freshness, add value and assure safety to the entire supply chain. The project will employ natural Halloysite Nanotubes (HNTs) as reliable and safe carriers of bio-active compounds which are unable to migrate from the food packaging into food. Maximising safety, they slowly release minute amounts of potent, volatile and broad-spectrum natural agents into the packaging headspace. Using nanotechnology enables 1) introducing sensitive molecules into polymer films; 2) anti-microbial functionality without impaired film properties; 3) manufacturing potent antimicrobial surfaces with tunable properties, while creating a pH-triggered gate keeper effect to slow down release of the payload encapsulated. The resulting film will exhibit antimicrobial properties unmet by the current state-of-the-art. The processes across the supply chain will be validated through 5 pilot runs on existing production lines: 1) loading antimicrobials, 2) anti-microbial HNT polymer production, 3) anti-microbial packaging film production and 4-5) using the novel packaging on food products. Commercial feasibility will be assessed, including consumer acceptance and legal, regulatory, safety and environmental aspects. The success of NanoPack will result in validated consumer-accepted nanotechnology-based antimicrobial food packaging that will enhance food safety, prevent foodborne illness outbreaks and reduce food waste caused by early spoilage. Better performing, safer and smarter products will position Europe as the leader in food nanotechnology & smart antimicrobial packaging while increasing competitiveness and industry growth.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-15-2014 | Award Amount: 8.82M | Year: 2015

PROTEIN2FOODs aim is to develop innovative, cost-effective and resource-efficient plant proteins rich food sources with positive impact on human health, the environment and biodiversity. The quality and quantity of protein from selected highly nutritious seed crops (quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat), and legumes with high protein quantity (lupin, faba beans, pea, chickpea, lentil) will be significantly enhanced by using a multi-disciplinary approach that will include genetic, agronomic, food process engineering, sensory, socio-economic, and environmental assessment. Research is expected to improve the quality of plant proteins, produced in Europe, and of the sustainability of their production and processing. Through a better understanding of the: i) genetic mechanisms driving the protein formation and accumulation in the seed, ii) plant performance towards biotic and abiotic stresses, and iii) protein interactions with other components in the food matrix and its sensory repercussions in the final food products, this research should lead to the development of adapted plant protein sources with positive impact on environment and biodiversity as well as human health. Expected results in the project are: i) enhance the protein production by 25% through new effective breeding techniques and optimised crop management with an increase by 10% of the EUs arable land destined to protein-crop production, using also marginal soils, ii) accelerate protein transition from animal-based protein to plant based protein in Europe with clear impact on reduction of carbon footprint, iii) increase EU agro-biodiversity by introducing promising high quality crops and legumes. Further, activities will support the prototypes of new protein-rich-protein food with exceptional market potential. Finally, we will improve the EUs visibility in the area of food processing and technology through high impact factors scientific publications.

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.

Grunert K.G.,University of Aarhus | Hieke S.,European Food Information Council | Wills J.,European Food Information Council
Food Policy | Year: 2014

This study investigates the relationship between consumer motivation, understanding and use of sustainability labels on food products (both environmental and ethical labels), which are increasingly appearing on food products. Data was collected by means of an online survey implemented in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and Poland, with a total sample size of 4408 respondents. Respondents expressed medium high to high levels of concern with sustainability issues at the general level, but lower levels of concern in the context of concrete food product choices. Understanding of the concept of sustainability was limited, but understanding of four selected labels (Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, Carbon Footprint, and Animal Welfare) was better, as some of them seem to be self-explanatory. The results indicated a low level of use, no matter whether use was measured as self-reported use of different types of information available on food labels or as use inferred from the results of a choice-based conjoint analysis. Hierarchical regression indicated that use is related to both motivation and understanding, and that both motivation, understanding and use are affected by demographic characteristics, human values as measured by the Schwartz value domains, and country differences. The results imply that sustainability labels currently do not play a major role in consumers' food choices, and future use of these labels will depend on the extent to which consumers' general concern about sustainability can be turned into actual behaviour. © 2013 The Authors.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-14a-2014 | Award Amount: 5.35M | Year: 2016

The OLEUM project will generate innovative, more effective and harmonized analytical solutions to detect and fight the most common and emerging frauds and to verify the overall quality of olive oils (OOs). By a core group of 20 partners from 15 countries OLEUM will undertake RESEARCH ACTIVITIES based on the development of IMPROVED and NEW ANALYTICAL METHODS by targeted and omics approaches with the aim: i) to detect new markers of the soft deodorization process; ii) to discover illegal blends between OOs and other vegetable oils; iii) to control OO quality (e.g. freshness); iv) to improve the organoleptic assessment with a Quantitative Panel Test, based on current official methods, and supported by tailored reference materials for better calibration of the sensory panels coupled with rapid screening tools to facilitate the work of the panelists. The most promising OLEUM solutions will be subjected to VALIDATION in conformity with internationally agreed standards by peer laboratories. OLEUM will recreate a realistic deodorization scenario by producing tailored, soft deodorized OOs by lab-scale and up-scaled pilot plants to apply analytical solutions to known samples. Substantial KNOWLEDGE and TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER activities will be envisaged to aid in implementation of: a) a web-based easily-accessible, scalable and constantly updated OLEUM DATABANK, containing all the information from OLEUM research and other reliable international sources, will be available for download data and spectra and to help achieve satisfactory harmonization of analytical approaches among control laboratories; b) the OLEUM NETWORK of relevant OOs stakeholders to maximize the impact of proposed analytical solutions. Finally, a robust dissemination strategy by the OLEUM project aimed at effectively sharing results with all stakeholders in the OO supply chain has the potential to improve consumer and market confidence, and preserve the image of OOs on a global scale.

Walsh M.,University College Dublin | Kuhn S.,European Food Information Council
Nutrition Bulletin | Year: 2012

Food4Me is a 4-year multi-partner project under the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), investigating the potential of, and public attitudes towards, personalised nutrition. Food4Me has gathered an international group of experts to survey the current understanding of personalised nutrition and to explore the application of individualised nutrition advice. The Food4Me project will also investigate consumer attitudes and produce new scientific tools for implementation. The project, which started in 2011, expects among its outcomes and achievements a comprehensive assessment of the opportunities and challenges for future personalised nutrition business models; new scientific tools that use dietary, genetic and phenotypic data for personalised nutrition; and a validation of the impact of different levels of personalised nutrition advice to consumers, be they dietary, phenotypic or genetic. It will also report on the attitudes and beliefs of European consumers to all aspects of personalised nutrition, describe the ethical and legal implications, as well as produce best practice guidelines for communicating information on the issue. This will be the first study of its kind in the world, designed to mimic a fully internet-delivered, personalised nutrition service. © 2012 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2012 British Nutrition Foundation.

Hieke S.,European Food Information Council | Wills J.M.,European Food Information Council
CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources | Year: 2012

Nutrition labelling has experienced considerable attention in research, combining the expertise as well as general behavioural insights from disciplines such as the social sciences, human medicine and biology, but also business-oriented fields including marketing, communication and general strategy. With a topic as complex as consumption behaviour and its effects on global well-being and health as substantial as they are, many researchers have undertaken studies of quantitative and qualitative nature to explore these relationships. The resulting proliferation of literature has called for reviewing work at many stages, hoping to provide the informational base for actions to be taken on a public health and policy level. Based on such recent changes and developments in the European nutrition labelling landscape, this paper sets out to give an overview on the topic, the reviewing work that has been done so far and the necessary updates on the most recent work in this field. Looking at the question of whether nutrition labelling so far has been effective in encouraging healthy eating, results of this review may be seen as a base for evaluating future achievements of the new EU regulation. © CAB International 2012.

Smillie L.,European Food Information Council | Blissett A.,European Food Information Council
Journal of Risk Research | Year: 2010

Risk communication is of vital importance in today's society, as audiences become ever more questioning of the causes and effects of risk. However, the communication of risk is a complex activity involving many different types of communicators from scientists, to the media, to government agencies, industry and consumer groups, each of which has its own agendas to fulfil. Such variation across the communication of the same risk can lead to confusion, misunderstandings and subsequent misreporting in the media. This paper proposes a new model which aims to prevent such unnecessary fallouts. The model provides a method by which all communicators can reliably appraise risk in the context of the current risk environment, allowing the successful design and implementation of an effective communication strategy. The model highlights the necessity that the next era of communication must be directed towards a collaborative approach between communicators across the board. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.

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