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The food and drink sector is a leading sector in the EU in terms of industrial value and output. It employs 2,6 million people1, and its turnover is worth € 700 billion2. The overall objectives of Key Action 1 "Food, nutrition and health" within the Programme "Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources" are to strengthen research in the agriculture, fisheries and food sector in universities, research centres and the industry. This will ensure that Europe maintains its strong position in this field into the future. By its funding of European projects and its links to national research activities on these topics, this key action aims to lead to a better understanding of consumers' needs to provide a healthy, safe and high quality food supply leading to reinforced consumer confidence in the safety and wholesomeness of the European food supply.

The Key Action "Food, Nutrition and Health" with an overall budget of € 290 million has built upon earlier EU funding of research in food science in the FLAIR, AIR and FAIR RTD programmes of the European Commission. However, the research priorities and objectives have evolved considerably from previous programmes and in this key action the following three objectives were tackled:

  • Addressing consumer needs and enhancing the competitiveness of the European food industry;
  • Assuring the safety and integrity of the food supply;
  • Understanding the role of nutrition in health and well being.

There has been an excellent response from researchers, industries and consumers to the research priorities defined, and now there is a comprehensive portfolio of collaborative projects funded and running. Cluster type projects were introduced in this key action, which are now running and producing valuable results. The External Advisory Group for Key Actions 1 and 4 and the Quality of Life Programme Committee has played an important role in the planning and implementation of this key action.

This catalogue gives details of all the running projects, but is also a useful guide to many of the principal research teams involved in food research in Europe. Most of the projects have a web site address, which can easily be accessed and gives further information on the project.

I hope the reader will find this publication both interesting and useful.

Bruno Hansen
Director "Biotechnology, Agriculture and Food" (until April 2003)
Brussels, October 2002

Preface from EAG Chair

It has been my pleasure over the last four years to chair the External Advisory Group (EAG) for the Key Actions "Food, Nutrition and Health" and "Environment and Health" of the Fifth Framework Programme (FP5), Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources. Our task has been to provide external independent advice to the Commission. Our advice has focused primarily on research priorities and annual revision of the Work Programme.

Our EAG was composed of 23 experts drawn from university medical and food faculties (e.g. occupational, environmental medicine departments), national institutes of public health, research institutes, health authorities, food industry, etc. The broad range of expertise and of geographical backgrounds guaranteed that we had appropriate experience available. Furthermore, we could call on networks of scientific peers to give guidelines for the detailed work programmes of FP5, to comment on the projects funded and to make the Commission aware of the latest scientific opportunities and high-priority areas for the European Union.

This advice has been provided on a continuous basis to the Commission services during the implementation of FP5 and has been particularly used in the annual revisions of the work programmes. The group has also focused on a number of emerging issues in the fields of both key actions and more detailed workshops in those areas were held. It has been particularly important to have these opportunities for focused workshops to ensure that funding is directed towards areas of major societal concern, including food and environmental safety, as well as identifying opportunities for future exploitation, such as nutritional genomics. We believe the work of the group has been useful and relevant and has helped considerably in the running and implementation of both key actions and is reflected in the projects funded and featured in this catalogue.

We also believe that information to, and involvement of, the public needs to be further improved. Therefore we have been helping and encouraging the European Commission and the research teams involved to make available the results and conclusions of the research to a wider public. This catalogue provides one such means of dissemination of information. Our hope is that through our contribution but primarily through the research supported, the results generated and their application, we might improve the quality of life of Europeans and other populations.

Professor Christine Williams
Chair of the External Advisory Group (until December 2002)
Quality of Life Programme, Key Actions 1 and 4


Key Action 1 "Food, Nutrition and Health" aims to provide a better understanding of consumer requirements and a healthy, safe and high quality food supply while improving the competitiveness of the European food industry.

The key action is organised into three main areas, which in turn are organised in subareas:

Area 1: Development of safe and flexible and new and/or improved manufacturing processes and technologies
  1.1 Novel and improved biological raw materials for high quality food;
  1.2 Advanced and optimised food technologies, packaging systems and process control;
  1.3 Quality monitoring and traceability throughout the food chain.
Area 2: Development of tests to detect and processes to eliminate infectious and toxic agents throughout the food chain
  2.1 Improved understanding and control of contamination conditions arising along the entire food chain from primary producer to consumer;
  2.2 Rapid detection tests particularly for pathogens and hormones;
  2.3 New and safer methods of food production and distribution;
  2.4 New methodologies for assessing microbial, chemical and allergenic risks and exposures.
Area 3: Research into the role of food in promoting and sustaining health with respect to diet and nutrition, toxicology, epidemiology, environmental interaction, consumer choice and public health
  3.1 Consumer needs, attitudes and responses with regard to food products, food processing and labelling;
  3.2 Role and impact of food on physiological functions, physical and mental performance;
  3.3 Particular nutritional needs of defined population groups;
  3.4 Links between diet and chronic diseases and disorders including the genetic factors involved.

Within the four calls of the Programme "Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources Programme" from 1999 to 2001, six deadlines for submission have been open for proposals for Key Action 1. This catalogue contains synopses of all of the projects that are funded following these deadlines. The projects have been sorted per area and listed by contract number within an area. Table 1 shows the number of projects submitted and selected by area for each deadline with the corresponding EU contribution.

The budget for Key Action 1 is € 290 million for the four-year period 1998 to 2002. The financial contribution from the EU for the 151 research and development projects selected amounts to € 239 million, which represents 82% of the total budget of the key action. The remainder of the budget goes to SME Specific Measures, Accompanying Measures, Training Grants, and administration.

Table 1: number of projects submitted and selected by area

Area Deadline Number of
Number of
EC contribution
(€ million)
Area 1 : Technology and raw materials
  November 1999
October 2000
January 2002
Area 2 : Food safety
  June 1999
November 1999
October 2000
January 2002
Area 3 : Role of food in promoting health
  June 1999
March 2000
March 2001
January 2002
Total 1017 151 236,6

Different types of actions are supported by KA1: Shared-Cost Actions, Thematic Networks, Concerted Actions, Training Fellowships, and Accompanying Measures. This publication contains only the three first types of actions. They are subdivided as following in:

  • 137 Shared-Cost Actions, which include Research & Development projects, Demonstrations Projects, Combined r & d and demonstrations projects, and support for access to research infrastructures. This represents a total EU contribution of € 218.0 million.
  • 4 Thematic Networks representing a total EU contribution of € 4.1 million.
  • 12 Concerted Actions representing a total EU contribution of € 16.7 million.

A number of research projects that are focussed on a common subject have formed large clusters.

The average number of participants per project is nine. About 27% of the participants are companies. In 70% of the projects, at least one industrial partner is involved.

The objective of this publication is not to assess the projects or the results generated, but to give an overview on the ongoing research being carried out in Key Action 1 "Food, Nutrition and Health".

This catalogue has been edited and compiled by Rosanna D'Amario, Isabelle de Froidmont-Görtz, Barbara Rens and Jürgen Lucas with the help of all Scientific Officers mentioned below. The European Commission would like to thank the coordinators of the projects for the replies to the requests and for supplying so many interesting photographs to complement the text of this publication.

Liam Breslin
Head of Unit DG Research E.2 "Health, Food and Environment" (until December 2003)
Brussels, October 2002

Country codes

A Austria FIN Finland LV Latvia
AUS Australia F France NL The Netherlands
B Belgium GB United Kingdom NO Norway
BG Bulgaria GR Greece PL Poland
CA Canada HU Hungary P Portugal
CH Switzerland IL Israël RO Romania
CZ Czech Republic IRL Ireland SI Slovenia
D Germany IS Iceland SK Slovakia
DK Denmark I Italy S Sweden
E Spain LU Luxembourg USA USA
EE Estonia LT Lithuania    

Types of projects

SC Shared cost actions SD Demonstration project
CA Concerted actions TN Thematic network
CM Combined projects    

EU contact for key action 1
European Commission, SDME 8-21, B-1049 Brussels
Tel.: +32-2-296.02.92, Fax: +32-2-296.43.22

Fifth Framework Programme

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