Implementation of analytical tools and digital technology to achieve traceability, authenticity control of traditional Mediterranean foods
The Mediterranean traditional food products are generally recognized for their high nutritional and sensorial value, based also on local specificities and natural biodiversity of their sources, and on traditional know how and experience in food processing, preparation and nutrition requirements. Mediterranean biodiversity is outstanding comprising 15.000 – 25.000 botanical species, 60% of which are unique to the region. However, it is estimated that only 10% of the crop varieties cultivated in the past are still being farmed, mainly because of their low productivity. The valorisation of Mediterranean animal breeds and plant varieties, as sources of foods and natural bioactive compounds, requires their unequivocal traceability and characterization, based on state-of-the-art methods and technologies which univocally define their Mediterranean origin in a global context, as well as their quality and safety. Although several initiatives aiming at collecting molecular information about farming plants and livestock, and the derived foods, are currently going on, a comprehensive shared repository of digital information about the Mediterranean foods is still lacking. The creation of reference databases would foster the necessary harmonisation of the analytical methods and data validation among different laboratories, two stringent requirements for the creation of a trans-national authenticity and traceability system that specifically address the identification of animal breeds, plant varieties, geographical origin and production protocols characterizing the traditional Mediterranean foods.
Proposals should focus on developing and implementing innovative solutions, technological tools and/or digital solutions and protocols to achieve traceability and confirm authenticity of Mediterranean food products (excluded Olive oil) aiming to detect fraud in traditional Mediterranean food products.
Proposals should focus on products with high added value, most exposed to fraud and valorise productions that have been discontinued but hold nutritional value and are important for biodiversity conservation. Proposal should also aim at creating trans-national networks of laboratories, validating and harmonizing protocols, sharing open-data on food products of the Mediterranean tradition, providing a robust support for certification and control bodies, and building capacity in key enabling technologies related to authenticity and traceability.
The proposals are encouraged to optimise the use of pre-existing databases and research infrastructures
(with particular reference to those identified on the roadmap of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures – ESFRI) and the opportunities granted by big data management tools, thus ensuring interoperability, standard methods and enhanced networking.
Proposals should build on the outcomes of H2020 projects to develop an openly available harmonised set of terms and definitions for use in food authenticity and undertake stocktaking and analysis of existing data.
Proposals should contribute to implement priorities set in the PRIMA SRIA and show the clear link of how expected impacts from the projects are going to implement the expected outputs indicated in PRIMA SRIA
The project results must contribute to PRIMA Operational Objective 8/ NEW AGRO-FOOD BUSINESS MODELS2
The project results are expected to contribute to:
Development of efficient methods for assessing food traceability and safety.
Increased added-value for Mediterranean food products linked to their proven biological and geographic origin, production protocols, processing technologies and low environmental footprint;
Improve confidence of consumers and markets in authenticity of Mediterranean food products by implementing dedicated services;
Foster joint integrative activities with existing data base networks and infrastructures in the health & food domain;
Improve harmonization and data interoperability.
Supporting information for the Section 1 Call for Proposals, Topic 1.3.1
Type of actionInnovation Action (IA)
 PRIMA SRIA Expected Outcomes Thematic Area Food Value Chain, Operational Objective 8 page 29. 2Annex 1 of the Annual Work Plan 2019 pages 114-117: Table linking AWP 2019 call topics expected impact to SRIA expected outcomes.
The Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area will devise new R&I approaches to improve water availability and sustainable agriculture production in a region heavily distressed by climate change, urbanisation and population growth