Important legal notice
Contact   |   Search   

Sixth Framework Programme FOOD QUALITY AND SAFETY
(for more information visit the website)


As a result of the first and second call for proposals under the Sixth Framework Programme’s (FP6) Food Quality and Safety priority, 54 research projects and 25 specific support actions (SSAs) have received financial backing from the European Commission. The projects and networks, some of which will receive up to €17 million each, tackle consumer-oriented issues such as food-related diseases and allergies, the impact of food on health, environmentally-friendly production methods, and environmental health risks, making extensive use of the new approaches offered by FP6. Most of these major new research initiatives contribute to the implementation of relevant EU policies with sound scientific data and recommendations.

‘Food quality and safety in Europe’ is a folder containing 82 sheets presenting the 79 above-mentioned projects as well as three additional food-targeted SSAs for Associated Candidate Countries selected under a separated call for proposals.

After a general introduction, the individual information sheets provide a summary, the list of participants, as well as practical information (such as contact details and website addresses) for each project.

Further information on Networks of Excellence and Integrated Projects for this priority can be found below.
For other themes visit the Project Library Home Page.

Additional info for the specific call to promote the participation of partners from Targeted Third Countries in projects for which contracts are already signed or under negotiation ( 124 KB)


The library contains an overview of Integrated Projects (IPs) and Networks of Excellence (NoEs) selected so far. The What's New? section features projects with new information such as links to websites, articles etc.

NB: The library does not yet include Information Society Technologies, or the parts of Aeronautics and Space, and Sustainable Surface Transport covered by the Energy and Transport DG.

Click a title below and then scroll down the page to see projects for that thematic priority.

Major Projects Library Home Page
Number of projects in the library
Life sciences, genomics and biotechnologies for health
Nanotechnologies and nanoscience, knowledge-based multifunctional materials, and new production processes and devices
Aeronautics and space
Food quality and safety
Sustainable energy systems
Sustainable surface transport
Global change and ecosystems
Citizens and governance in a knowledge-based society
European Atomic Energy Community - Euratom

There are no project updates for this theme at the moment.


Go to list of Integrated Projects (IPs) and Networks of Excellence (NoEs)

Find Calls for Proposals on CORDIS


To search project titles, acronyms and summaries within this theme for a specific word (or part of a word), type it in the box and click the submit button. (To search across all themes, use the search on the Major Projects Library home page.)


Example: to find projects mentioning "genome", "genomes", "genomics" etc. type "genom" (without quotation marks). Multiple words will be searched for together; e.g. "cancer or diabetes" will find only those projects which contain that exact text.

Title: Improving quality and safety and reduction of costs in the European organic and low input supply chain.
Project summary:   This Integrated Project (33 participants) aims to lead to new technologies and systems for organic and low input production systems. One of its strengths is a matrix structure whereby the research will encompass the whole food chain from fork to farm for a number of sectors including protected crops (tomato), field vegetables (lettuce), fruit (apple), cereal (wheat), pork, dairy and poultry. It addresses consumer attitudes and expectations, impact of organic foods on nutritional, sensory, microbiological and toxicological quality/safety of foods, development of new technologies and identification of socio-economic, environmental and sustainability impacts of innovations. This project has the scientific rigour to provide the meaningful information that is lacking on the extent to which differences in production systems affect nutritional value, taste and safety of food. It is expected to make a significant impact on increasing the competitiveness of the organic industry in a number of sectors to the benefit of the European consumers
Additional project information:   Project website  CORDIS News article 
Title: Health improving, safe seafood of high quality in a consumer driven fork-to-farm concept
Project summary:   This Integrated Project (80 participants) aims to reduce health problems and to increase well-being among European consumers by applying the benefits obtained through consumption of health promoting and safe seafood products of high eating quality. The relevance of seafood in the diet to diminish the higher incidences of cardiovascular, cancer and inflammatory diseases for instance will be assessed by performing dietary intervention and epidemiological studies. Seafood's importance for consumer well-being and behaviour will be assessed to understand determinants of consumers' seafood consumption and to adapt seafood products to consumer demands. The objectives of the seafood safety component are to make seafood safe for the consumer, by identifying risk factors and to undertake risk-benefit analysis. Validated traceability systems will be assessed to make it possible to apply a total chain approach from the live fish to the consumer product, and to trace back any feature from fork-to-farm.
Additional project information:   Project website  Europa news article 
Title: Diet, genomics and the metabolic syndrome: An integrated nutrition, agro-food, social and economic analysis
Acronym:   LipGene
Project summary:   The focus of this Integrated Project (24 participants) is the interaction between dietary fat composition and genotype in the metabolic syndrome. This disorder is associated with overweight and obesity and is characterised by insulin resistance, dyslipidaemia and hypertension. Access to a large prospective cohort, together with clinical and nutritional data, provides a unique opportunity to determine diet-gene interaction in the development of the metabolic syndrome. A large multi-centre dietary intervention study will examine responsiveness to dietary fat modification, varying in both fat content and composition, influence insulin sensitivity and other aspects of the metabolic syndrome. A key aim of the project is to improve the fat composition of milk and meat products (animal nutrition) and to provide novel sources of fatty acids (plant biotechnology). An economic analysis of the costs associated to the metabolic syndrome will be undertaken, while consumer attitudes will be analysed.
Additional project information:   Project website  Europa news article  CORDIS News article 
Title: Promoting food safety through a new integrated risk analysis approach for foods
Acronym:   SAFE FOODS
Project summary:   This Integrated Project addresses the issue of how consumer confidence in consumer protection and risk analysis can be restored and strengthened. The proposed research attempts to improve current risk analysis practices for foods produced by different breeding approaches and production practices deploying high and low input systems. The research activities will result in designing new effective procedures for risk analysis underpinned by new scientific assessment methods, and embedded in a broad impact analysis of social, financial and economic consequences, and with high levels of transparency, active public engagement and improved risk communication.
Additional project information:   Project website  Commission News Alert 
Title: Integration of animal welfare in the food quality chain: From public concern to improved welfare and transparent quality
Project summary:   This Integrated Project (39 participants) addresses these objectives and, importantly, pays particular attention to the "fork-to-farm" approach through establishing a strong society-science dialogue. In this context, appropriate and robust on-farm welfare assessment methodologies will be developed together with information frameworks and an array of targeted, high priority welfare improvements. The proposal bring together many important European players in a well-structured project that offers a real possibility for Europe to cement its position as a leader in farm animal welfare research..
Additional project information:   Project website  Commission News Alert 
Title: New strategies to improve grain legumes for food and feed
Project summary:   This Integrated Project (66 participants) will mobilise and integrate European scientific research on grain legumes by addressing the following objectives; i) to identify optimal parameters for legumes in feed and food quality and safety, including GMOs, while using legumes to develop healthy and sustainable agriculture, ii) to investigate variation in grain legume seed composition and the factors affecting it, iii) to develop new genetic, genomic, post-genomic and bioinformatic tools to improve and sustain grain legume seed production and quality. To achieve objectives the project will integrate an ambitious combination of approaches, including biochemistry, plant & crop physiology, agronomy, plant genomics & breeding, and human nutrition & health studies. Particular emphasis will be placed upon the use of state-of-the-art methodologies including genomics and bioinformatics, together with transcriptomics and metabolomics.
Additional project information:   Project website 
Title: The Prevalence, Cost and Basis of Food Allergy Across Europe
Project summary:   This four-year integrated project, will investigate the patterns and prevalence of food allergies throughout Europe, by surveying a large number of newborn children in five centres, and cross-sectional groups of adults and children in at least nine and possibly ten other centres. It involves over fifty food, medical and agricultural research organisations throughout the EU, including some from new Member States. The project is looking for new biochemical or genetic predictive markers for allergies. EUROPEVALL is investigating better tests to replace challenge tests in which sufferers or samples of their tissue are exposed to allergenic material. The candidate tests are serological, using purified food allergens and novel detection with peptide or protein chips, as well as more conventional methods. Detection will also depend on a library of well-analysed allergens, ranked according to the severity of the reactions they induce. The new tests will improve diagnosis and reduce the impact of allergies.
Additional project information:   Project website 
Title: Improved immunity of aquacultured animals
Acronym:   IMAQUANIM
Project summary:   Based on important disease models, this project concerns development of a technological knowledge platform for a future improved immunity to infectious pathogens in the major aquacultured species in Europe (Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, sea bream, sea bass, carp, mussel and oyster). Focus will be put on use of vaccines, immuno-stimulants, immuno-diagnostic surveillance as well as markers for selection of the most immuno-competent individuals. Assays for qualitative and quantitative monitoring of key elements of the innate and adaptive immune system at genetic and functional levels will be established and used for determination of response profiles which correlate with protective immunity. IMAQUANIM'S data will provide a strong technological basis for qualified strategies to counteract rapidly known or new diseases in aquacultured fish. The resulting gene arrays and immune-response assays will be employed to develop efficient vaccines and feed-based immuno-stimulants for finfish species.
Title: Exploitation of natural plant biodiversity for the pesticide-free production of food
Project summary:   The aim of this project is to force a break-through in breeding for resistance to fungal pathogens using genomics and post-genomics tools to exploit natural host plant resistance. Two strategies will be followed to design new resistant varieties: i) marker-assisted breeding and ii) genetic engineering. Selecting plants at the seedling stage using molecular markers shortens the time considerably between the first cross involving wild species and introduction on the market. A major goal of this project is to exploit these genetic resources for breeding resistant varieties, either made with or without genetic engineering. The relative importance of GM techniques for the SMEs to develop new varieties for the regular market in this project is difficult to predict. This Integrated Project will focus on wheat and potato - the two most important staple crops for all consumers in the EU - for which pesticides, mainly fungicides.
Title: Control and prevention of emerging and future pathogens at cellular and molecular level throughout the food chain
Project summary:   Food safety is of fundamental importance to the European consumer, food industry and economy. The impact on trade and competitiveness is very substantial. Despite significant investment the incidence of food derived disease still increases in the EU. PathogenCombat attacks this pan-European problem through a holistic, multidisciplinary approach towards threats from new/emerging pathogens in the entire food chain. A number of advanced platforms will be developed to investigate the survival and virulence expression of pathogens in feed and food, and on contact surfaces in the food chain including the intestinal tract of farm animals. The platforms, of which several are used for the first time in food safety studies, comprise bioimaging, laser tweezers, phage display/convergent evolution, functional mammalian cell models, functional genomics and microarrays. New/emerging food borne bacteria, yeast, filamentous fungi and viruses are targeted for milk and dairy products, poultry and pigs and their meat products.
Title: Diet, Obesity and Genes
Acronym:   DIOGENES
Project summary:   The rapid growth in the prevalence of obesity and associated co-morbidities, in particular the rise in childhood obesity across Europe are major global health concerns. Susceptibility to obesity is determined largely by genetic factors but the current epidemic is significantly influenced by lifestyle factors. DiOGenes aims to contribute to a better understanding of the disease and its alleviation by dietary means by including all disciplines and stakeholders. To examine critically the dietary impact, an 8-country, long-term randomised, parallel dietary intervention study on whole families will take place. Food technology studies will seek to develop food combining high consumer liking/preference with enhanced satiety signals to limit intake.
Additional project information:   Project website 
Title: EaRly Nutrition programming- long term Efficacy and Safety Trials and integrated epidemiological, genetic, animal, consumer and economic research.
Acronym:   EARNEST
Project summary:   Recent data indicate that the connection between perinatal nutrition and adult health is significant and measurable. The five-year EARNEST project will collect the best possible data from large randomised, controlled human trials and prospective studies to examine the mechanisms by which early nutrition programmes long-term adult health. EARNEST will assess the socio-economic costs of poor nutrition and analyse consumer knowledge and attitudes about nutritional programming. It will establish the potential of public health interventions to prevent and reverse harmful programming. It will also provide quantitative estimates of how European wealth creation would be enhanced by improved early nutrition. The resulting data from all these studies will furnish a strong scientific basis for promoting health in European populations, helping to correct social inequalities in healthcare, education and policy development.
Additional project information:   Project website 
Title: Exploiting bioactivity of European cereal grains for improved nutrition and health benefits
Project summary:   The HEALTHGRAIN Integrated Project aims to improve the well-being and reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome related diseases in Europe by increasing the intake of protective compounds in whole grains or their fractions. The aim is to produce health promoting and safe cereal foods and ingredients of high eating quality. A whole grain diet is increasingly demonstrated to be protective against development of diet related disorders such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. HEALTHGRAIN will carry out an integrated, multidisciplinary effort to establish the variation, process-induced changes and human metabolism of bioactive compounds in the major European bread grains, and to reveal the physiological mechanisms underlying their significance in prevention of metabolic syndrome and related diseases.
Additional project information:   Project website 
Title: GM and non-GM supply chains : their CO-EXistence and TRAceability
Acronym:   CO-EXTRA
Project summary:   The objective of Co-Extra is to provide all the stakeholders of the food and feed chains with a central decision-support system integrating the tools, methods, models and guidelines needed to deal with the imminent arrival of large quantities of GMOs, further to the lift of the current de facto ban on GMOs in the EU. Co-Extra will study and validate biological containment methods and model supply chain organisations and provide practical tools and methods for implementing co-existence. In parallel, Co-Extra will design and integrate GMO detection tools, develop sampling plans, and elaborate new techniques to meet the challenges raised by stacked genes and as yet unapproved or unexamined GMOs. Co-Extra will also study and propose the most appropriate information structure, content and flow management for ensuring reliable and cost-effective documentary traceability. Co-Extra outcomes will contribute to reinforcing consumers confidence in labelling claims and therefore EU products at large.
Additional project information:   Project website 
Title: New Technologies to Screen Multiple Chemical Contaminants in Foods
Acronym:   BIOCOP
Project summary:   Chemical contaminant monitoring in foodstuffs is a highly important and complex issue. A huge investment in time and effort is placed on these activities by regulatory and industrial laboratories. The Biocop proposal has been constructed to supply regulators, consumers and industry with long-term solutions to the complex problems associated with chemical contaminants. A range of new technologies such as transcriptomics, proteomics and biosensors will be utilised within the project. These new approaches are based on measuring effect rather than on measuring single target compound concentrations. The biomarker and fingerprinting concept is key to this strategy. Experts from all classes of chemical contaminants will oversee the project to ensure fit-for-purpose tests are developed and validated to the required standards.
Additional project information:   Project website 
Title: Tracing Food Commodities in Europe
Acronym:   TRACE
Project summary:   TRACE will develop generic and commodity specific traceability systems that will enable the objective verification of the origin of food and animal feed. Natural tracers such as trace elements, ratios of heavy (geo) and light (bio) isotopes and genetic markers will be measured to determine geographical, species and production origin. Geo and bioclimatic mapping will be undertaken to extrapolate geographical origin and reduce the need for commodity specific data bases. The project will focus on meat, cereals, honey, olive oil and mineral water. TRACE will develop and draft standardised XML 'request-response' schemes for coding and electronic information exchange and establish Good Traceability Practice .
Additional project information:   Project website 
Title: European Nutrigenomics Organisation - linking genomics, nutrition and health research
Acronym:   NUGO
Project summary:   This Network of Excellence (22 participants) aims to integrate and develop nutritional genomics in Europe. Nutrition and health research is focussed on the prevention of disease by optimising and maintaining cellular, tissue, organ and whole-body homeostasis. This requires understanding, and ultimately regulating, a multitude of nutrient-related interactions at the gene, protein and metabolic levels. This project will enable nutrition research to fully complement the biomedical and pharmacological research communities that are currently using genomics for the development of curative therapy. A key objective of the network will be the development, data warehousing and exploitation of nutrition and health-related bioinformatics for the benefit of European nutrition researchers, and for the community as a whole.
Additional project information:   Project website 
Title: Network of prevention and control of zoonoses
Acronym:   MED-VET-NET
Project summary:   Diseases naturally transmitted from animals to man, termed zoonoses, constitute major public health risks and generate emerging disease problems. Such diseases, especially when food borne, have significant social and financial impacts in Europe and need to be addressed across the whole food supply chain. The overall objective of this Network of Excellence (10 participants) is to integrate veterinary, medical and food scientists in the field of food safety at European level, in order to improve research on the prevention and control of zoonoses, including food borne diseases, while taking into account the public health concerns of consumers and other stakeholders throughout the food chain. The network comprises 5 veterinary and 5 public health institutes in 8 European countries. All partner institutes have national reference laboratory-based responsibilities for the prevention and control of zoonoses. The network will develop activities to enable integration, including structured and systematic communications, and training. The programme will address zoonotic agents selected on the basis of importance in Europe and covering four thematic areas: epidemiology, host-microbe interactions, detection and control and risk analysis.
Additional project information:   Project website  CORDIS News article 
Title: Prevention, control and management of prion diseases
Project summary:   This Network of Excellence (52 participants) is expected to provide European researchers with an effective communication strategy with the public, with policy makers and between themselves, allowing the sharing of prior, current and future knowledge. It is expected to provide better value for money from European and nationally funded research, allow the better exploitation of knowledge and promote a concerted European response to various issues or future TSE crises.
Additional project information:   Project website  CORDIS News article  Commission News Alert 
Title: European Animal Disease Genomics Network of Excellence for animal health and food safety
Acronym:   EADGENE
Project summary:   This Network of Excellence (13 partners) will bring together sufficient excellence and resources to make a real difference to animal and human health, and improve the quality of animal products. Integrating activities will ensure that all partners have easy and durable access to the best available facilities, biological resources, technological platforms, software, analytical tools and knowledge. The joint research programme will ensure that this integration results in high quality research that is directed towards the most pressing issues, and presents the best opportunities to address European concerns. The network will: create a durable virtual laboratory in genomics of host-pathogen interactions; co-ordinate and orient European animal genomics and disease research; apply genomics as a tool to improve animal health, food quality and safety.
Additional project information:   Project website  CORDIS News article  Commission News Alert 
Title: Chemicals as contaminants in the food chain: An NoE for research, risk assessment, education and information
Acronym:   CASCADE
Project summary:   This Network of Excellence (19 participants) seeks durable coordination and integration of European research on human health effects of chemical residues in the numerous chemicals, present at even low levels in the environment and food or drinking water, that interfere particularly with the function of a cellular structure called nuclear receptor, which, when perturbed by chemicals, is linked to development of cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, decline in fertility, breast, prostate, colon cancer, neurodegenerative disease, etc. Assessing the risk for humans, especially women, new-born children, and other susceptible populations has proved difficult, owing to insufficient information on the mechanisms of action of these chemical residues, their levels in the food chain, differences in sampling techniques and lack of reliable biological markers. To address these issues competently and responsibly requires efficient integration of key areas of European research. Deliverables will include training programmes and provision of rationalised information for assessing the risk that these compounds pose to human health. It is also important that to channel scientific information of potential use to consumers and for implementation of legislative measures.
Additional project information:   Project website  CORDIS News article 
Title: Global Allergy and Asthma European Network
Acronym:   GA2LEN
Project summary:   This Network of Excellence (27 participants) will study allergy and asthma throughout the course of life, including intrauterine life and foeto-maternal interface, interaction between genetic and environmental factors in early life and development of allergies, via existing and new birth cohorts. It will establish an international network of European centres of excellence that will conduct specific integrated multidisciplinary research programmes on issues relating to environment (including outdoor and indoor pollution), nutrition, lifestyle (including occupation), infections and genetic susceptibility. Genetic and epidemiological studies will address gene-environment interactions that might underpin the dramatic increase in allergy rates in the EU in the last few decades. The work also encompasses, through region-specific epidemiological studies, the impact of nutritional status on allergic disposition, and the dissemination of information to patients and public, as a fundamental task to reduce the socio-economic burden of allergy and asthma.
Additional project information:   Project website  Europa news article  Commission News Alert