Press release

Prometheus releases outcome of 3 year research project to improve food safety

The PROMETHEUS project released today its final report, announcing the encouraging results of its 3 year investigations into how major food processing contaminants form and how this can be monitored and mitigated.

The project findings will serve as an invaluable resource for food and drink manufacturers who wish to identify the best ways to reduce process contaminants in their products at an industrial scale. The final aim is of course to help protect consumers by providing them with high quality food products. Prometheus is an EU scientific research project developed with the objective to help the European food industry reduce consumer exposure to food processing contaminants without affecting food quality or microbiological safety. Between May 2011 and now, new technologies and strategies were developed with a view to use them in industrial applications. Infant formulas, biscuits, canned baby foods, and canned fish and vegetables had been chosen as food models.

The research investigated several food processing methods such as vacuum baking, high hydrostatic pressure, ohmic heating and ingredient microencapsulation. In addition, for the purpose of this research, innovative analytical tools were developed to monitor online the formation of such undesirable neoformed compounds; this allows for the rapid optimization of the formulation and processing parameters. PROMETHEUS findings are building on the previous EU projects HEATOX and ICARE. The research outcomes reveal promising opportunities to further mitigate process contaminants by developing new products and using innovative technologies and testing methods. They will eventually help the industry to innovate by implementing new technologies in order to better control the safety and overall quality of food products.

For the complete results of the Prometheus project, download the PDF

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The PROMETHEUS consortium involves 8 research organisations and 6 industrial participants (including 4 SMEs, 1 large company and FoodDrinkEurope, the trade body representing Europe’s food and drink industry).

More information:

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No. 265558
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