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METABOLOMICS: A METAPHOR FOR HEALTHIER FOODS?

METABOLOMICS: A METAPHOR FOR HEALTHIER FOODS? image

Listen to shoppers returning from their latest supermarket trip and you will be struck by the number of complaints relating to the variable quality of the fruit and vegetables on offer. META-PHOR aims to change all this by developing new tools, which can be used to improve plant breeding, engineering and processing strategies. The expected result is a greater variety of food products with improved nutritional quality.

LISTENING TO THE CONSUMER

More than ever before, consumers have been making demands concerning the quality of the food they purchase. They have also become more aware of terms such as sustainability, user-friendly production methods and genetic modification. Meeting these new demands means generating an enhanced food production chain, extending from the breeding of improved crops through to their cultivation and ultimately to their purchase by the consumer.

Any new product requires improved quality assessment before being released to the public. Furthermore, with consumers demanding maximum variety and yearround product availability, further guarantees are required, that imported, out-of-season products also continue to meet quality expectations.

RE-DISCOVERING TASTE

Though its results are bound to have a significant impact on consumers' renewed quest for taste, METAPHOR remains first and foremost a scientific project. The impressive consortium of 22 project partners represents organisations from across the globe, including Europe, Asia and the United States. Both the institutional and industrial sectors will be involved.

One of the goals of the project is to facilitate greater collaboration between the various international research groups that already work on the development and application of plant metabolomics tools (the systematic study of the unique chemical fingerprints that specific cellular processes leave behind). The results of this collaboration are incorporated into the activities of industrial partners, including the European small-to-medium sized enterprise sector, who benefit greatly from access to such a platform in their own applied research.

List of Partners

  • Plant Research International (The Netherlands)
  • Max Planck Institute, Golm (Germany)
  • Rothamsted Research (UK)
  • Wageningen University (The Netherlands)
  • University of Manchester (UK)
  • University of Wales, Aberystwyth (UK)
  • Weizman Institute (Israel)
  • INRA-Bordeaux (France)
  • Harvest Plus (United States)
  • Royal Veterinary & Agricultural University (Denmark)
  • The Volcani Centre (Israel)
  • International Rice Research Institute (The Philippines)
  • National Agricultural Research Centre (Laos)
  • State Institute of Food Safety (The Netherlands)
  • Crop Design (Belgium)
  • Vezet (The Netherlands)
  • AnalytiCon-Discovery (Germany)
  • PROSOY (The Netherlands)
  • Waters (UK)
  • Bruker BioSpin (Germany)
  • LECO Instrumente (Germany)
  • Thermo Electron (Germany)
Acronym:
META-PHOR
Full title:
Metabolomic technology applications for plants, health and outreach
Contract n:
036220
Project co-ordinator:
Robert Hall, Plant Research International B.V., Robert.hall@wur.nl
EC Scientific Officer:
Annette Schneegans, annette.schneegans@ec.europa.eu
EU contribution:
€ 3.4M
Call:
FP6-2005-FOOD-4-B
Type:
Specific Targeted Research Project

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Last update: 06 December 2007 | Top