Scientific Approach

The work is organised in 7 work-packages:
WP1 - Development, standardization of analytical methods and data acquisition
WP2 - Development of mitigation strategies for process contaminants at pilot scale
WP3 - Statistical data analyses and modelling for understanding chemical reactions and process optimisation
WP4 - Scaling up at semi-industrial level of food models and rapid tools for analysis
WP5 - Assessment of advantages and limits of the improved technologies and Industrial feasibility
WP6 - Dissemination and exploitation
WP7 - Project management

WP1 aims at setting up and validating analytical methods to assess neoformed contaminants. A particular effort is proposed to develop innovative analytical techniques adapted to industrial needs. Rapid and non destructive spectral methods such as ambient mass spectrometry, imaging and spectral analysis will be developed and evaluated to monitor in real time the formation of processing compounds in the food product throughout its processing. A fluorescence sensor will be implemented on the processing equipment for online tracing.

focuses on the development of mitigation strategies regarding processing contaminants in four food models: infant formula, biscuits, baby food puree and canned fish. Experimental design at lab and pilot scale level will be organized based on industrial, food chemist, technologist and modelist knowledge. Process parameters for ensuring final product safety will be set up. Processing contaminants, nutritional and sensorial profiles will be assessed.
Alternative processes will be compared to the reference (conventional process) according to their fidelity and capability. The capability is based on process quality criteria (microbial destruction, water content, browning) and other quality parameters such as nutritional and sensorial profiles. The fidelity is the repeatability and reproducibility of the process.
  WP3 will generate scientific knowledge on the conditions and mechanisms leading to chemical contamination by statistical data analysis and mathematical models. In the case of infant formulas and biscuits, mechanistic models will be developed based on pertinent chemical indicators and on the reactionomic approach allowed by ambient mass spectrometry in WP1. Simulation of the impact of process parameters on formation of  processing contaminants will provide optimisation directions for pilot plant assays.

From the lab scale and pilot plant experiments, the two most effective food models/technologies will be selected for demonstration by the food industry at semi-industrial scale in WP4. At this final level, the process efficiency will be evaluated as well as the potential of the sensors and ambient spectral spectrometry as tools for monitoring the impact of processing on food quality parameters, including nutritional and sensorial quality of the final safer product.

WP5 will evaluate the different dimensions of the food product quality: an evaluation of the advantages and limits of the improved strategies as well as the validation of alternative approaches for global quality assessment will be proposed.

The WP6 will disseminate the most important results, propose guidelines for further development of the technologies evaluated in the frame of the project and prepare the exploitation of the results.

concerns the management of the project.
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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