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Food Quality and Safety in Europe



Europeans live in a fast-paced, supercharged society. Double-income families, single-parent homes and extracurricular activities have put the pressure on people to seek shortcuts when it comes to preparing and eating food. The big winner here is the chilled and frozen food products market. Year-on-year, the market grows by 10% and reports 11 million tons of food consumed.

However, since more than 70% of frozen food products are traded on the global market, we need to ensure that product quality and safety management are of impeccable standards. Industry actors recognise that 0.01% of chilled and frozen food produced cannot be consumed because storage integrity is compromised. It is clear that the EU lacks an ‘integrated concept’ for the management, monitoring and traceability of chilled and frozen foods.

The question is how does the EU go about securing such a concept? The answer lies in the CHILL-ON project, a pro-active and integrated approach that effectively studies and assesses each step of the chilled and frozen supply chain. It is therefore, providing Europeans with better food quality and safety, as well as transparency in the supply chain.


Building consumer confidence in chilled and frozen food products is a strategic objective for the EU and the involved sectors of food production, trade and distribution.
CHILL-ON researchers assess cutting-edge technologies, exploit innovative technological concepts, and advance their validation and potential. Special emphasis is given to monitoring management and tracing the supply chain thanks to the fresh, innovative TRACEHILL system. The project’s players - geneticists, biochemists and logisticians - train and disseminate measures to ensure CHILL-ON meets its objectives: to provide accurate identification, qualification, quantification and tracing of any issue regarding product quality and safety along the supply chain.

This Integrated Project focuses on seafood and poultry, because they are highly sensitive as regards food poisoning and an increasing number of Europeans are consuming seafood products because they recognise their nutritional value. Whilst consumption patterns vary between Member States, the numbers are expected to grow by 10% within the next four years.

The European Commission points out that identifying the origin of feed and food ingredients and food sources is necessary to ensure the health and safety of consumers. Thus, guaranteeing traceability makes it possible to get unhealthy and unsafe foods off the shelves and give consumers accurate information about what went wrong. On the whole, the European food industry must show its prowess in monitoring, maintaining and guaranteeing its food product quality, in a cost-effective manner.


Europe has a large piece of the international chilled and frozen food pie as compared with North America, which controls a mere 30%. Europe’s 50% market share clearly indicates that it influences the market’s moves. With respect to seafood, however, it currently imports products from Asia and South America. Putting the CHILL-ON concept into action effectively reinforces Europe’s competitiveness in the seafood market. Only by bolstering its competitiveness can the European food industry gain the technological edge it needs.

European policy objectives can be achieved when Europeans implement a global, integrated approach for better monitoring and control of the seafood supply chain. In a nutshell, CHILL-ON can and will make this happen. With the industry facing losses of €1 billion each year, CHILL-ON will help the EU industries, and SMEs in particular, reap the fruits of success.

List of Partners

  • Verein zur Förderung des Technologie-Transfers an der Hochschule Bremerhaven (Germany)
  • Agricultural Research Organisation (Israel)
  • ActValue Consulting&Solutions (Italy)
  • Chinese Agricultural University (China)
  • Wessex Institute of Technology (UK)
  • University of Bonn (Germany)
  • Agricultural University of Athens (Greece)
  • Fundación Chile (Chile)
  • University of Parma (Italy)
  • University of Kent (UK)
  • Icelandic Fisheries Laboratories (Iceland)
  • Institute for Packaging, Transport and Logistics Research (Spain)
  • Afcon Industries (Israel)
  • Beijing Fishing company (China)
  • Fjord Marin (Turkey)
  • Motorola (Israel)
  • Q-Bioanalytics (Germany)
  • Cybelia (France)
  • Research Relay (UK)
  • Crytec (Israel)
  • OSM-DAN (Israel)
  • Freshpoint Quality Assurance (Switzerland)
  • Chainfood (The Netherlands)
  • Traceall (UK)
Full title:
Developing and integrating novel technologies to improve safety, transparency and quality insurance of the chilled/frozen food supply chain
Contract n°:
Project co-ordinator:
Matthias Kück, Verein Zur Foerderung Des Technologietransfers An Der,
EC Scientific Officer:
Ciaran Mangan,
EU contribution:
€ 10.1M
Integrated project

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Last update: 06 December 2007 | Top