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Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: BBI-IA-DEMO | Phase: BBI.VC3.D5-2015 | Award Amount: 15.54M | Year: 2016

Approximately one third of all food produced globally is wasted every year throughout the whole value chain-from farmers to consumers. To extract the significant amounts of valuable compounds contained in these wastes, AgriMax will combine affordable and flexible processing technologies (ultrasound assisted and solvent extraction, filtration, thermal and enzymatic treatments) for the valorization of side streams from the horticultural culture and food processing industry to be used in a cooperative approach by local stakeholders. Through the selection of case-scenarios previously developed to a pilot scale by the participating RTOs and their industrial transfer in new applications as food additives, packaging and agricultural materials among others, the project will disclose the holistic potential of four new agro-value chains (residues and by products from the culture and processing of tomato, cereals, olives, potato). Any by-product generated along the production cycle will be valorized in a cascade manner to reach over 40% of high value use of the waste. This will lead to additional production of active ingredients in lower concentration, but also fibres, biogas and fertilizers from the left biomass (the latter with the aim of being used in closed loop in the culture of the crops used in the project to prevent soil impoverishing). An LCA and LCC will also study the best approach to minimize the environmental impact of the new value chains without jeopardizing the cost effectiveness of the operations. The pilot multi-feedstock bio-refinery processes will be validated in two demonstration sites in Spain and Italy. Societal, ethical, safety, techno-feasibility and regulatory aspects will be studied. Last but not least, a business model and platform for communication between the potential raw materials suppliers will be set up to maximize the use of the cooperative treatment plants throughout the year.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME-AG | Phase: SME-2012-2 | Award Amount: 3.06M | Year: 2012

Trend analyses indicate that the consumption of meat products in most EU countries is stagnating, with the exception of the market segment light and healthy. However, consumer perception is increasingly influenced by messages in the media that consumption of nitrite preserved meat products contributes to human cancer risk. Therefore, the aim of the PHYTOME project is to develop new meat processing technologies, resulting in innovative products that have no or strongly reduced nitrite levels and that have been shown to contribute to improved gut health. The new meat products will be enriched with carefully selected biologically active compounds, so called phytochemicals, present in various natural plant extracts. Specific phytochemicals possess antimicrobial activity that may allow replacement of nitrite without hampering microbiological safety. Phytochemicals are also known to protect the gut from the induction of genetic damage and adverse health effects. The PHYTOME project will deliver optimized food processing techniques to introduce phytochemicals into a range of meat products and that will guarantee microbiological safety and good sensory quality. These new technologies will be transferred to the other end-users to demonstrate their applicability in industrial settings. The new meat products will be evaluated in a human dietary intervention study to establish their positive effect on cancer risk markers in colonic tissues using the newest genomics techniques available. Elaborate consumer studies will show the response to the newly developed products. Both consumer acceptance and the willingness to buy this new type of products will be tested, eventually resulting in a tailored marketing strategy. The European and national SME associations have an excellent network to disseminate the results of the PHYTOME project across the entire EU meat processing sector, stimulating the exploitation of the identified growth market for light and healthy meat products.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2013-1 | Award Amount: 1.44M | Year: 2014

Meat trimmings are the main ingredient used for the production of many meat processed products like sausages and hamburgers. The EU is the worlds second largest producer of pork and beef meat trimmings with Tm 17M by year. Trimmings are typically produced at slaughterhouse to be sold in standard bins of 10, 25, 35 and 60 litres. The bins are manually prepared by trained operators to obtain specific fat content. The bins are then paid by meat processors according to the amount of fat, the lower the fat content the higher the market value. However, fat content in meat trimmings is not precise having variations in the order of 5% which often represents a cause of dispute between the slaughterhouse and the processor. In meat processing, the control of fat in meat trimmings is of vital importance to ensure homogeneity and quality of the final product, to reduce the lean meat over-use and to comply with legislation and customer specifications. A fat variation larger than 3% will produce substantial economic looses and a number of industrial problems. Excessive salt content, poor texture, hard surface, appearance and odour and product spoilage are the most common quality problems. Manual sampling, recipe adjustment, poor binding capacity and problems during slicing of the product are the most important industrial problems. The main goal is to develop a contactless, in-line fat analyser that will automatically determine the fat content in EU standard bins with accuracy better than 1.5%. TRIMSCAN project will provide SME processors and slaughterhouses with a practical tool at an affordable cost to make them more competitive by reducing the expensive lean meat over-use by at least 2% and to avoid the need of time consuming sampling and recipe reformulation. TRIMSCAN will substantially improve and simplify the production processes by homogenising the quality of the final product and by reducing the percentage of rejections in at least 2% due to products that do not meet the legislation and/or customer of specifications. TRIMSCAN represents a real business opportunity for the SMEs of the sector.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-07a-2014 | Award Amount: 3.40M | Year: 2015

Research and development activities are proposed for the benefit of sustainable pork chains based on European local pig breeds and their production systems. Workprogramme is planned to respond to consumer demands for quality and healthiness of pork products with regional identity and societal demands for environment preservation and development of local agro-economy. Description and evaluation of local pig breeds, with an emphasis on untapped ones will be performed using novel genomic tools. Performance of local pig breeds will be evaluated in contrasted agro-geo-climatic conditions and production systems (indoor, outdoor, organic). Focus will be on pig feeding and management strategies and on the use of locally available feeding resources. Intrinsic quality of traditional and new regional high quality pork products and attitudes of consumers from various market areas will be assessed; in particular the motives for the choice and willingness to pay such products. Marketing strategies will be adressed in particular short chain distribution channels. All activities will be driven from the perspective of sustainability (environmental impact, animal welfare, product quality, consumer acceptability and market potential). The activities will engage innovative approaches to answer socio-economic demands of regional pork chains involving partners from different sectors. The ambition is to enhance existing and create new networks between academia and non-academia partners, within and between regions and to tackle the value chain for regional high quality pork products, focusing on diverse and so far untapped pig breeds, their production systems and pork products. Cross-fertilising interactions between research, local agriculture, businesses and end-users will be achieved with partners from these complementary sectors in all research and development activities.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2013-1 | Award Amount: 1.41M | Year: 2014

Salt is used across Europe in the production of a wide variety of dry-cured meat products, which are not only important because of their high economic value, but also due to historical, cultural, and gastronomical reasons. Among them, the different varieties of dry-cured ham produced in many European countries are the most notable and economically relevant examples. In spite of their overall nutritional and gastronomical properties, the high sodium content in dry-cured products has become a major concern in terms of public health. Recently, the enhancement of the consumer awareness of the health effects of a salt rich diet has increased the market demand for reduced sodium food products. However, the development of these segments has proved to be a major technological challenge for the sector, due to the irreproducibility of the salting process. The heterogeneity of the resulting product is also responsible for substantial economic losses due to the fact that part of the production does not meet the expected quality standards. Besides, it reduces significantly the yield in the production of sliced products. The main goal of this project is to develop a pre-competitive salting control platform to enable an accurate control of the salting stage in the production of dry-cured meat, which will ultimately result in a more homogeneous and standardized salt content in the final product, and will enable developing new product segments with reduced salt content. The proposed solution integrates different novel in-line meat inspection technologies, and uses a Neural Network to determine optimum salting parameters. The project consortium brings together a group of leading SMEP in the sector of services and machinery for the meat processing industry, with the objective to develop after the project a commercial solution demanded by customers. The consortium also includes Meat Processors, which will be involved in the validation of the technology, and leading Research groups.

Sannino A.,Stazione Sperimentale per LIndustria Delle Conserve Alimentari | Bolzoni L.,Stazione Sperimentale per LIndustria Delle Conserve Alimentari
Food Chemistry | Year: 2013

A sensitive and selective method was developed and validated for the determination of nine N-nitrosamines in meat products. The N-nitrosamines were extracted with NaOH/methanol, partitioned into dichloromethane on a ChemElut column and cleaned-up by solid-phase extraction. All samples were spiked with 2H isotope-labelled N-nitrosamine internal standard prior to extraction. After purification on a Florisil mini-column, the extracts were analysed by gas chromatography-chemical ionisation tandem mass spectrometry (GC-CI/MS/MS) using ammonia as reagent gas. The presence of N-nitrosamines in samples was quantified by isotope dilution mass spectrometry. The method was validated for linearity and range, accuracy, precision and sensitivity. Recoveries were calculated at three levels of concentration (0.5, 1 and 10 μ/kg) spiked in raw pork meat. The values were found between 95% and 110% with relative standard deviation (RSD) values between 5% and 11%. The excellent selectivity and sensitivity allows quantification and identification of low levels of N-nitrosamines in meat products (limits of quantitation (LOQs) 0.3-0.4 μ/kg). Finally, the method was successfully used to analyse a sample of canned meat and nine different cured meat products produced in Italy. N-Nitroso-dimethylamine was detected in all examined products in the range 0.3-1.1 μ/kg. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Sannino A.,Stazione Sperimentale per l'Industria delle Conserve Alimentari
Food Additives and Contaminants: Part B Surveillance | Year: 2016

A method based on gas chromatography/ tandem mass spectrometry was used to assess levels of 16 EU priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in 48 preserved food products in oil including foods such as vegetables in oil, fish in oil and oil-based sauces obtained from the Italian market. The benzo[a]pyrene concentrations ranged from <0.04 to 0.40 µg kg−1, and 72.9% of the samples showed detectable levels of this compound. The highest contamination level was observed for chrysene with three additional PAHs (benzo[a]anthracene, benzo[b]fluoranthene and benzo[c]fluorene) giving mean values higher than the mean value for benzo[a]pyrene. Chrysene was detected in all the samples at concentrations ranging from 0.07 to 1.80 µg kg−1 (median 0.31 µg kg−1). The contamination expressed as PAH4 (sum of benzo(a)pyrene, chrysene, benzo(a)anthracene and benzo(b)fluoranthene), for which the maximum tolerable limit has been set by Commission Regulation (EU) No. 835/2011, varied between 0.10 and 2.94 µg kg−1. © 2016 Taylor & Francis

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2011-1 | Award Amount: 1.51M | Year: 2012

The 160.6 billion EU-27 meat processing sector employs over 1 million workers and is dominated by SMEs (94%) with small productions and traditional processes. SMEs in this vital sector are facing global competition from multinationals which are more productive and have superior marketing capacity. Moreover, the current crisis is reducing demand for premium meat and traditional quality products that are the core business for most European sector SMEs. The solution to maintain sector viability is for SMEs to increase productivity and manufacture with consistent quality. The SMEs behind this proposal (processors RDVIC and SANMI, and equipment manufacturers/distributors JCB and STRASSER ) have identified the need for a technology to sort meat prior to processing, without which 30-40% of all processed meats do not reach the expected final quality. To become more competitive, processors must be able to select higher quality meats for higher added-value processes (e.g. long dry-curing, use of natural ingredients), while lower quality meats can be separated and treated to achieve an acceptable and consistent final quality. With the support of RTDs (CRIC, UNIMAN, IRTA and SSICA), the SMEs propose the development of QMEAT, an automatic non-contact system based on Magnetic Induction Spectroscopy and Image Analysis, to determine the Water Holding Capacity and colour of meat pieces prior to processing. This system is expected to increase the production of high-quality products by at least 20%, with benefits of at least 700-1500 per tonne. The estimated tag price for the QMEAT system will be of 80,000; an investment fully recoverable in 6-9 months of operation for companies producing a minimum of 110 tonnes per year. With a time-to-market of 18 months, QMEAT represents a real business opportunity for the SMEs, who will jointly exploit the results to reach a foreseen 2% EU market penetration and an accumulated income of 24 million over a 5 year time frame.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2011-1 | Award Amount: 1.05M | Year: 2011

The goal of the project is to develop a bio-lacquer for the protection of metal food packaging to meet the demand for sustainable production and for the safeguarding of consumer health, at the same time increasing the competitiveness of the metal cans industry, valorizing the wastes produced by the preserved industry and reducing refuse. The core of the research is the development of a natural lacquer obtained from industrial tomato processing by-products (skins), to be applied on the internal and external surfaces of cans for foodstuffs. The new type of packaging is a response to the needs of the SMEs involved in the project (lacquer producer, can makers and the preserving industry), to increase their economic and commercial competitiveness, by improving the quality of the metal cans. In fact, a highly innovative eco-friendly packaging is obtained which is less dangerous for consumer health and able to compete with other packaging materials, such as plastic. This aspect is very important, since metal packaging is currently perceived by the consumer as being out of date. The research starts with the analysis and characterization of tomato wastes, leading to the formulation of bio- lacquers applicable to metal materials on normal production lines. The new lacquers have as main component the biopolymer cutin extracted from the cuticle of the fruit by means of an optimized and standardized method. After the evaluation of the chemico-physical and hygiene-health (according to EU legislation) properties of the new lacquers produced, their suitability will be confirmed by the production of cans and their packaging with the main food products. In this way, at the end of the project it will be possible to have a complete indication as to the use of the new lacquers in contact with food products and of their economic and environmental benefits. The RTD\I workplan is implemented by a consortium of 11 partners (4 SMEs, 3 end-users and 4 RTD performers) from 7 EU countries.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME-AG | Phase: SME-2012-2 | Award Amount: 2.46M | Year: 2013

LEGUVAL targets the use of co-products and by-products of processed legumes production for valorisation by extraction of the protein fraction and use of the leftover biomass as additives in composites production and as a source of biogas by anaerobic digestion. Multiple benefits will be gained by these approaches for plastics producers since proteins are biodegradable raw materials suitable for melt processing, are a source of nitrogen in agriculture applications and have the ability to improve barrier properties in packaging when applied as a layer on biodegradable plastic films, while maintaining biodegradability of the final package. The biomass residual of protein extraction will be used as a low-cost natural filler in bio-composites production, as well as investigated for biogas production. Four RTD Performers from Europe who are leaders in their fields will provide contract research services to Industry Associations and companies from the legume, food and plastics value chains in order to meet with their technical requirements and market needs. The new materials developed over the course of the project will be tested for composting (biobased) and recyclability by assessed recycling processes and evaluated for cost/environmental impact by cradle-to-grave Life Cycle Analysis and Life Cycle Costing.

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