EU Science Hub

New thematic report: Science for food

Three children eating food
May 13 2015

The JRC has released a new report on its scientific support to EU's "from farm to fork" policy which ensures Europeans enjoy safe and nutritious food, while facilitating the food industry to work under the best possible conditions. It also presents JRC research on global food security – a growing challenge for researchers and policymakers alike when over 800 million people face hunger worldwide and food demand is expected to rise by 60% by 2050.

The JRC underpins the EU’s high food safety standards with the best scientific and technical expertise available. It also supports EU efforts to foster food security on a global scale and looks at how to achieve this in a sustainable way. The report “Science for food” provides a broad overview of JRC's work and highlights the scientific tools, methods, analyses and activities that work towards authentic, safe and nutritious products and helping to attain food security while respecting the environment.

The JRC provides continuous scientific support to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the related reform process, carrying out a wide range of analyses to assess how best to achieve the objectives of viable food production, sustainable management of natural resources and a balanced territorial development.

In the area of food safety, the JRC supports EU legislation with scientific advice on chemical residues, contaminants and food contact materials, feed and food additives like sweeteners, colours or allergens. To protect the interest of consumers who need to trust food labels, the JRC has developed widely-accepted standard methods of analysis and best practice guides, underpinned by advanced measurement science that test food on their authenticity.

Knowledge of food demand systems at a local level is essential to ensure food security. The JRC designs modelling tools to understand the relationship between food consumption, farm incomes and food prices. It also studies the impact of agricultural policies on food demand in farm households in selected African countries, and evaluates new alternatives like aquaculture.

The thematic report is organised in six chapters: science underpinning EU food policy, acting today for a better tomorrow: global food security, research in agriculture: outlook for our food and land, food quality and authenticity, food for health and fostering the innovation flow.

In addition, the report provides a list of publications and partners, contacts and useful links. This is the sixth in the thematic report series, after the release of the reports on water, standards, energy, nuclear safety and security, and science for disaster risk reduction.