Spoke 03

Food safety of traditional and novel foods

Promoting a safe food innovation

Spoke leaderMaria De Angelis
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Blog postApr 3, 2024

More than 5 million in funding for Southern Italian firms for research into the food safety of traditional and novel foods.

Blog postMay 17, 2023

Risk mitigation strategies in food production, processing, storage and retailing

Spoke 03 is focused on enhancing food and nutrition quality to better meet the needs and expectations of the modern consumer. The project achieves this through various means, such as food reformulation, innovative and sustainable technologies, and new food design. 

The ultimate goal is to safeguard health at the population level, while also considering the emerging interindividual differences that are driving the personalized nutrition revolution. Research activities under Spoke 03 include evaluating new, emerging, and (re)-emerging risks in the food system. The project develops strategies to ensure the healthiness of food, taking into account new sustainable technologies. Additionally, Spoke 02 aims to understand the applicability and safe use of new foods in the food system.

OnFoods targets

To increase the quality of foods and diets
To develop smart innovative technologies for a sustainable food production and consumption
To guarantee food safety and food security at whole population level and in specific vulnerable targets of the population

SDG’s targeted

About Spoke 03

Promoting a safe food innovation

Food safety represents one of the most significant global health challenges. Each year, approximately 600 million people contract foodborne illnesses, significantly impacting human health and the global economy. This is particularly relevant in a world wh

The progressive complexification of food value chains, with intensive and highly specialised food production, has also increased potential threats to food safety, such as the spread of diseases among animals and contamination of food products. In particular, the overuse of antibiotics in animals raised for human consumption has become one of the major concerns for food safety. Moreover, the emergence of serious health problems, such as the recent Sars-CoV-v2 pandemic, has led to the need even more strictly to strengthen food safety controls.

To address these challenges, a systemic approach is needed to ensure food safety, an approach that requires broad collaboration between government agencies, international organisations, and the food industry to monitor and manage food value chains effectively.

WP 3.1

Assessment of new and re-emerging risks in the food system

The OnFoods Work Package 3.1 focuses on assessing new and re-emerging risks in the food system by applying a range of scientific methodologies, including standard protocols, whole genome sequencing, computational methodologies, and MetaOmic approaches. 

The project aims to identify and characterise chemical and biological hazards in traditional food products, as well as anticipate and evaluate potential risks associated with new and emerging food ingredients, production methods, and packaging materials. The project will provide a guideline for the food industry on the risks and benefits associated with new and emerging technologies.

W.P 3.2

Strategies for risk mitigation in food production, processing, storage and retail

WP 3.2 aims to reduce food products' chemical, biological, and toxicological risks. This includes developing predictive models, reducing food allergenicity and toxicity, new optimised processes, exploring alternative diets and breeding systems, and innovative measures to reduce the risks of bacterial pathogens. 

Breeding and biotechnological techniques are also used to produce customised foods with improved nutritional profiles and to valorise alternative protein sources. Finally, the project studies risk perception and develop effective communication strategies to promote food safety.

W.P 3.3

Advanced methods for food safety

This work package focuses on advanced methods for evaluating the safety of traditional and innovative foods. The project involves using various methods to detect toxins, allergens, and pathogens and developing digital solutions for food supply chains. The results will be shared nationally using a new platform.