Food and beverage industries are of key importance for the economy of many European countries, especially for those having a long agricultura/viticultural tradition. Production of high quality food and beverage products is of general importance for all consumers and requires a permanent monitoring of the production process and the quality of the final product, presently assessed by using highly sophisticated and expensive off line analytical methods, not affordable for SMEs or individual producers. This aspect is vital for the wine industry, since the industry is well dominated by a large number of small producers. An adequate control requires continuous, simultaneous and selective monitoring of several key compounds determining the quality and special flavor of a particular wine. Such detectors are non-existing on the market. This multidisciplinary research targets the development of a highly innovative novel technology for the control of wine production and quality, integrating sampling and detection, and allowing continuous sampling and simultaneous monitoring of several analytes. The sensors/sensor arrays to be developed are based on novel engineered enzymes- and/or antibodies designed for the selective detection of some key analytes (glycerol, acetate, pyruvate, lactate, ammonium, malate, anthocyanines, methoxypyrazines, Ochratoxin A).
The specific objectives of the NovTech project are focused on the following five main areas:
(1) engineering of selective biorecognition elements (enzymes and antibodies),
(2) design and development of electrochemical sensors/sensor arrays,
(3) integration of sampling and detection systems/sensors,
(4) validation of the developed sensors using off-line classical analytical techniques, and
(5) extensive evaluation of the integrated analysis system in three wine producing companies. The work will be carried out by a multidisciplinary network across Europe formed of research groups with recognized expertise in
Funding SchemeNET - Research network contracts