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By developing techniques to produce everyday foods that are both affordable and nutritious, EU-funded researchers are showing the path to a future in which everyone - including those at risk of poverty - can enjoy a healthy diet without worrying about cost. The project's techniques are being applied by small food processors - a boost to their competitiveness.
Published: 3 August 2015
Climate change is affecting plant life worldwide, with potentially disastrous effects for both wild and agricultural species. EU-funded researchers are studying the impact of higher temperatures and drought on seed quality in order to develop techniques for conserving wild plants, and for ensuring sustainable crop yields.
Published: 31 July 2015
EU-funded research has shown that natural rubber from home-grown dandelions and guayule could be used for tyres. Researchers and industry are now working together to scale up production - paving the way for Europe to reduce its dependence on rubber imports and to boost competitiveness.
Published: 13 July 2015
EU-funded researchers are extracting small pieces of protein from rice starch by-products for 'superfoods' and new cosmetics. These 'magic' molecules could add a healthy twist to baby food, sports protein supplements and products for sufferers of coeliac disease. An engineered human skin eliminating any need for animal testing could also be on the market within two years.
Published: 26 June 2015
Farming consumes around 70% of the world's fresh water. Limiting irrigation to the actual water crops need - and no more - makes farming more sustainable and improves yields. An EU-funded project is developing a user-friendly precision irrigation decision support system for more accessible technology that saves water. A first interface will be available next year.
Published: 24 June 2015
Ripe, but not too ripe; sweet, but still a bit tart - to make outstanding wine, grapes must be harvested when they are at their best. Choosing the right moment is one of the key decisions of the winemaking process. The WinePen, a low-cost handheld device developed by the EU-funded PREMIVM project, can help. It is based on innovative techniques that can give winegrowers the information they need much faster than conventional tools.
Published: 19 June 2015
Where water is scarce, it makes sense to make the most of what you receive for free. An EU-funded project is studying the different ways Africa's farmers can increase the volume of rain and river water collected, to improve crop yields and bridge dry spells.
Published: 17 June 2015
Sustainable rural development can only be accomplished by empowering local people to participate in the development of new techniques themselves. In understanding the importance of irrigation for smallholder farmers, the EU-funded EAU4FOOD project has integrated locals within the innovation process.
Published: 5 June 2015
Europe's smaller agri-businesses will soon be able to tell whether their products are within the EU's strict limits for pesticide residues without having to send samples to the laboratory. This is because an EU-funded project has developed a rapid, easy-to-use portable biosensor that offers testing up to 10 times cheaper than conventional means.
Published: 5 June 2015
Most of the food produced in Africa is supplied by small-scale farmers, many of whom are struggling. New knowledge could help to boost these micro-operations and their contribution to food security, but smallholders are rarely consulted when research agendas are set. An EU-funded project focused on stimulating the necessary dialogue.
Published: 4 June 2015