European Commission


What's for Lunch Conference

Food integrity is becoming increasingly important; authenticity, origin of food, geographical location (terroir), traceability and security and safety of food production requires new diagnostic tools and implementation of new information systems.

The What's for Lunch conference is an event focused upon parliamentary decision makers and it is organised by the coordinators of 8-10 major European research projects which include some of the world's largest food safety research projects in the areas of microbiology, chemistry and food production technologies. It is worth recalling that at the begining of the last decade the European Parliament specifically requested that the Sixth Framework Programme dedicate part of the specific programme budget to food traceability and integrity. The event will demonstrate what has been done in this respect and what has still to be done to ensure proper food chain integrity and food security.

These research actions have now finished and generated a huge amount of data, results, and deliverables. The projects have since worked together in preparing this conference aimed at disseminating the true scale of these results, the advancement that has been made in this area and the excellent possibilities for technology transfer, to an audience of invited stakeholders from different sectors such as policy makers, consumers, and industry.

Background:

Food Chain Traceability was given a special emphasis in Priority 5 of the sixth framework programme (2002-2006) resulting in over 14 different research projects , and a total research budget of over 140 Million € over four years, and involving up to 400 different participants across 30 countries.

The overall objective was to increase consumer confidence in the food supply by strengthening the technology needed to ensure complete traceability along the entire food and animal feed chain. These technologies would link products to their source, their declared origin, or to the specific way they were made. It would also provide technologies to trace contamination or substance presence such as bacteria, toxins, or genetically modified organisms, along the chain from raw material origin to the purchased food product. A wide number of food sectors have been covered and used as models from beef, fish, water, olive oil, to different food formats; fresh, chilled, or farm livestock. Accordingly, a wide range of technologies have been investigated from sophisticated electronic sensors, navigation systems, and software to an extensive range of genomic molecular diagnostics.

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