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Food Quality and Safety in Europe



In today's fast-paced world, we sometimes lack the time to go out and shop for fresh food on a daily basis. This is one reason why people increasingly choose to shop at irregular intervals. The result of this new habit is a waste of around 35% of fresh produce. The annual waste of fresh food produced in the UK alone could save 150 million people from starvation. NovelQ's goal is to develop new technologies to keep food fresh over a longer period of time, thereby minimising waste.


Europe already has a strong competitive position in the field of food processing technologies based on its patents and expertise. NovelQ aims to extend and strengthen this competitive advantage. Besides existing methods such as high pressure, pulsed electrical fields, cold plasma and advanced heating technologies, NovelQ aims to develop and demonstrate new products and processes that enhance freshness and storage life.

The project is very ambitious in its quest for innovation in the area of food conservation. It examines the possibility of substantially extending the shelf life of victuals, especially vegetables. In response to the demands of consumers, the project studies new alternatives for maintaining the fresh characteristics of food close to those of the raw material (which is not achievable using traditional processing methods).

Finally, NovelQ supports eco-friendly innovative processing by overhauling the traditional processing methods. Different methods are implemented, including the reduction of energy inputs via low-temperature and low-energy processing, the reduction of water and chemical utilisation and a decrease in packaging.


The NovelQ project involves a large number of food processing experts. The consortium includes research institutes and universities, as well as food manufacturers and machinery suppliers in order to optimise cross-sector innovations. The team members have access to all advanced facilities provided by other project partners, including unique processing prototypes, to assist with research. These factors, together with the priority paid to effective dissemination and technology transfer, ensure maximum stakeholder impact for NovelQ.

In order to reach the Commission's goal of 3% research and development spending, NovelQ connects the food sector with the equipment-manufacturing sector, which has a substantially larger research and development investment of approximately 5%. This linkage has the added bonus of providing SMEs with a greater role, since many equipment manufacturers are small businesses.

List of Partners

  • Agrotechnology & Food Innovations (The Netherlands)
  • TU Berlin (Germany)
  • KULeuven (Belgium)
  • IFR (UK)
  • University of Lleida (Spain)
  • VTT (Finland)
  • KVL (Denmark)
  • Zaragoza University (Spain)
  • IMCB-CNR (Italy)
  • University of Naples (Italy)
  • CFRI (Hungary)
  • SCA (Europe)
  • Matforsk (Norway)
  • Aarhus School of Business (Denmark)
  • SIK (Sweden)
  • CTCPA (France)
  • CCFRA (UK)
  • TNO-QoL (The Netherlands)
  • FRIP (Czech Republic)
  • University of Salford (UK)
  • Resato (The Netherlands)
  • I&L Invest (Belgium)
  • Unilever (The Netherlands)
  • EFFOST (Europe)
  • Struik Foods (The Netherlands)
  • Procordia Food (Sweden)
  • OPAL (France)
  • CGPA PENY (France)
  • Montpellier II University (France)
  • INTI Plāsticos (Argentina)
  • CSRI (South Africa)
  • Erlangen University (Germany)
Full title:
Novel processing methods for the production and distribution of high-quality and safe foods
Contract n°:
Project co-ordinator:
Huug de Vries, Agrotechnology and Food Innovations BV,
EC Scientific Officer:
Jürgen Lucas,
Isabelle Van Borm,
EU contribution:
€ 11.3M
Integrated project

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Last update: 06 December 2007 | Top