Navigation path

Countries
Countries
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Belgium
  Benin
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Canada
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Finland
  France
  Georgia
  Germany
  Ghana
  Greece
  Hungary
  Iceland
  India
  Indonesia
  Ireland
  Israel
  Italy
  Japan
  Kazakhstan
  Kenya
  Korea
  Latvia
  Lithuania
  Luxembourg
  Malaysia
  Malta
  Mexico
  Montenegro
  Morocco
  Namibia
  Netherlands
  Nigeria
  Norway
  Peru
  Poland
  Portugal
  Romania
  Russia
  Serbia
  Slovakia
  Slovenia
  South Africa
  Spain
  Sri Lanka
  Swaziland
  Sweden
  Switzerland
  Taiwan
  Tanzania
  Thailand
  Tunisia
  Turkey
  Ukraine
  United Kingdom
  United States

Themes
Agriculture & food
Energy
Environment
ERA-NET
Health & life sciences
Human resources & mobility
Industrial research
Information society
Innovation
International cooperation
Nanotechnology
Pure sciences
Research infrastructures
Research policy
Science & business
Science in society
Security
SMEs
Social sciences and humanities
Space
Special Collections
Transport


   Success Stories

Last Update: 19-06-2012  
Related category(ies):
Agriculture & food  |  Research policy

 

Countries involved in the project described in the article:
Brazil  |  Chile  |  France  |  Germany  |  Greece  |  Iceland  |  Israel  |  Italy  |  Netherlands  |  Spain  |  Turkey  |  United Kingdom
Add to PDF "basket"

CHILL-ON – Enhancing safety at every step on the food supply chain

Few would dispute that the emergence of chilled and frozen food technologies in the last century was a major advance for modern society, transforming all our lives and bringing convenience and choice. In Europe today, consumption of chilled and frozen foods is rising by more than 10% a year.


© Fotolia, 2012

But there is a downside. The safety issues associated with the handling of such food products remain a major public concern. Food scares regularly hit the headlines. And food poisoning caused by the incorrect handling of these products can be fatal.

The problem is the large number of stages in the production process "from farm to fork" – from farm producers to intermediate suppliers to final manufacturers, all through a range of transportation links. Many stages, in other words, when a small lapse can easily go unnoticed and have catastrophic results.

CHILL-ON, a major EU-funded research project, set out to provide a solution to this problem. The ambitious goal was to achieve seamless control and monitoring from start to finish of the supply chain, thus allowing risk to be assessed, controlled and minimised in a way never possible before.

If it could be achieved, it would be a precious prize indeed, not only for the consumer, but also for the food industry, with strict regulations to observe, competitive pressures to deal with, and precious reputations to protect.

Led by the Technology Transfer Centre of Bremerhaven, Germany and involving 31 partners from 13 countries, the € 15.5 million project took four and a half years. It was truly multi-disciplinary, bringing together experts in fields ranging from bio-chemistry to information technology, from genetics to packaging, and from microbiology to logistics, engineering and mathematics.

The numerous breakthroughs incorporated in the final CHILL-ON system included methods not only to detect the presence of food pathogens - the bugs, which can cause poisoning – but also to predict their future growth in given temperature conditions.

A 'Shelf-Life Predictor' allows a product's remaining shelf life to be assessed at any point along the supply chain. And clever devices called 'Time Temperature Indicators' are labels attached to each product which change colour in accordance with exposure to different temperatures over different time scales. This information can be transmitted wirelessly to a control centre.

All this information, and much else besides, is fed into the heart of the system – an information management system accessed via the web known as TRACECHILL. Through this, users can gain real-time information on the exact freshness and previous history of every single product, wherever it is on its journey from farm to fork.

In effect, this radical new system provides not just a "snapshot" of any product at any point, but a continuous "video" of its journey along the supply chain. Tests have already tracked Atlantic cod from Iceland to France, hake being transported from Chile to Spain, and frozen tilapia as it journeyed right through the supply chain to China.

Where consumer food safety is concerned, there is no room for compromise. Safety and confidence are vital. For the food industry, reputation is vital – and easily lost. As a result of the CHILL-ON project and its unique combination of specialisms, society can today enjoy the enormous benefits of chilled and frozen food in greater confidence than ever before.

Project details

  • Participants: Brazil, Chile, China, France, Germany (Coordinator), Greece, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom
  • FP6 Project N° 16333
  • Total costs: € 15 530 000
  • EU contribution: € 10 100 000
  • Duration: July 2006 - December 2010

Convert article(s) to PDF

No article selected


loading


Search articles

Notes:
To restrict search results to articles in the Information Centre, i.e. this site, use this search box rather than the one at the top of the page.

After searching, you can expand the results to include the whole Research and Innovation web site, or another section of it, or all Europa, afterwards without searching again.

Please note that new content may take a few days to be indexed by the search engine and therefore to appear in the results.

Print Version
Share this article
See also

Project web site

Project information on CORDIS

Contacts
Unit A1 - External & internal communication,
Directorate-General for Research & Innovation,
European Commission
Tel : +32 2 298 45 40
  Top   Research Information Center