Knowledge Based Bio-Economy


African Food Tradition Revisited by Research (Food processing)

Project acronym: AFTER

Title of project: African Food Tradition Revisited by Research

Research area: Food Processing

Contract No: 245025

EU contribution: €2 929 585

Start date: September 2010

Duration: 45 months

Status: on-going

The AFTER project is taking a new look at traditional African products, knowledge and know-how in the light of the latest food technologies. By applying European science and technology to traditional African food products, AFTER seeks to turn this research into quantifiable and innovative food technologies and products that are commercially viable in European and African markets. The project has selected 10 products representing three families of foods (fermented cereal-based, fermented salted fish and meat, and vegetable and fruit based functional foods). These are being combined into a matrix of technologies and processes with both European and African roots.

Through re-engineering and new processing technologies, these new products will be tested for consumer acceptance, safety and nutritional quality, and their market entry requirements assessed. EU and African companies are involved in production trials for the improved products which will lead to ready-to-use information for food companies.

AFTER's particular objectives are:

  • To obtain comprehensive scientific knowledge of existing know-how on technologies, processes and products.
  • To propose improvements to traditional processes through re-engineering with the aim of improving safety and nutritional quality, while keeping or improving the organoleptic characteristics of traditional products.
  • To use objective criteria for measuring consumer acceptance of traditional products and to ensure they can effectively access EU markets while also protecting the intellectual rights of Africans.
  • To present the results as ready-to-use information for food companies, including SMEs, via guidelines on quality management, food law and regulation and consumer protection. To transfer the results to African and European stakeholders.

Creating new markets and trade opportunities for improved traditional foods and novel products in Europe and Africa will increase economic returns for all stakeholders involved in the production chain, down to the community level. The project also hopes to apply African traditional processes to European raw materials to develop new foodstuffs – thus providing new outlets for European raw materials. These products will meet the growing demand of European and African consumers for foodstuffs that are easy to consume, with enhanced nutritional value and extended shelf-life. In addition, this research may offer opportunities for novel non-food industrial applications.

Website of project:

Coordinator: Dominique Pallet,

Organisation: Cirad – Agricultural Research for Development, France,