Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - TRUEFOOD (Traditional United Europe Food)

The 'Traditional united Europe food' (Truefood) project aimed to improve quality and safety and introduce innovation into traditional European food production systems through research, demonstration, dissemination and training activities. It focused on increasing value to both consumers and producers and on supporting the development of realistic business plans for all components of the food chain, using a fork to farm approach.

Five main objectives were pursued during the four year implementation (May 2007 – April 2010):

(i) to identify and quantify consumer perceptions, expectations and attitudes with respect to

(a) safety and quality characteristics of traditional foods and
(b) innovations that could be introduced into the traditional food industry. (5 % of project effort);

(ii) to identify, evaluate and transfer into the industry innovations which guarantee food safety, especially with respect to microbiological and chemical hazards (20% of effort);
(iii) to identify, evaluate and transfer into the industry innovations which improve the nutritional quality, while at the same time maintaining or improving other quality characteristics (e.g. sensory, environmental, ethical) and recognised by traditional food consumers (35 % of effort);
(iv) to support the marketing and supply chain development of traditional food products (10 % of effort);
(v) to facilitate effective technology transfer of innovations (those developed within the Truefood projects and in other EU, national and industry funded R&D projects) into traditional food industry (30 % of effort).
The activities were divided into two pillars: scientific and industrial.

Truefood study's outcomes provide evidence-based support to promote the production and the appropriate consumption of healthier traditional foods; hence the discoveries could be translated into applications for a sustainable and valuable improvements of Europe's food-related industries and businesses, as well as consumer protection policies. Finally, results obtained within food and health aim at supporting the EU commitment of taking the implications for health into account in all its policies.

The booklet guidelines on effective technology transfer activities to SMEs in the food sector with particular focus to traditional food manufacturers was developed with the aim to provide guidance to all the personnel involved in the process of technology transfer to food businesses including mediators, between the industry and the research community, technology transfer staff of the research organisations and the universities and also those researchers, who want to foster the implementation of their research results in food businesses.

Since SMEs have several additional barriers to technology transfer compared to large companies in this document specific attention is being paid to the aspects of the SMEs. The guideline was printed and distributed on the stakeholders meeting of the ETP Food for Life on 3rd March 2010 in Brussels (ca. 200 participants) and on the Truefood final conference on 13th April 2010 (ca. 160 participants) in Brussels. Furthermore, it was distributed at the conference organised by the University of Milan in March 2010, the food exhibition Alimentaria in Spain in March 2010, and the final Truefood conference in April 2010. All SPES members at national level disseminated the electronic version of the document.

A number of elements are identified that may provide long-term sustainability to the project activities and contribute to achieve a tangible impact on the industry and research sectors:

- a core group of ca. 20 TSMs will continue to work after the end of the project and assist effectively food SMEs in 11 countries, thus strengthening the long-term impact;
- a strong network of TDUs – TSMs is in place;
- a stable network between TDUs – TSMs and SMEs in in place (about 3,500 SMEs are part of a stable network);
- strong interaction among TSMs, research partners and SMEs is leading to new ways of cooperation as a follow up of Truefood events (i.e. new R&D projects involving SMEs);
- new tools for technology and knowledge transfer are available (i.e. guidelines for the design and delivery of training activities to SMEs, evaluation model for SMEs training, best practice guide for technology transfer to food SMEs);
- training materials available for further use in different languages;
- info sheets with main information in research results available in different languages;
- a Truefood library containing 325 items is on-line for available use;
- a project Truefood website and national web pages for communication of project research results and new knowledge on food innovation are on-line for further use;
- a project website Truefish is on-line for supporting seafood processing SMEs to identify seafood safety hazards in their production system.

Related information

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SPREAD EUROPEAN SAFETY GEIE
ROME
Italy
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