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NIRS microsensors and ICT platforms for ensuring on-site authentication of high added value European foods: Case study Iberian pig ham. (NIRSIntegrityHam)

The present proposal is founded on the recognition that there exists a general consciousness about the need to develop and compare methodologies for detecting emerging risks, food warnings and frauds, and to be able to do this detection with high sampling rates in real-time. At research level, the Food Integrity Project is one of the examples of this interest, and in particular the FI04 - Topic 4 of the FoodIntegrity Competitive Call entitled "Rapid, on-site, cost-effective methods for feed/food fraud detection". However, to respond to these requirements is not an easy task; this demands that the methodologies developed can be applied and used in a huge variety of agrifood products, enabling the assessment of multiple quality parameters and analytical indicators of authenticity and potential frauds, both known and unknown. Unfortunately, the number of agrifood products that are susceptible to food fraud is very high and the types of fraud involved are very complex, as is being revealed in different European and international R&D projects, as well as being notified to consumers through social media and networks.

Universidad de Córdoba

FoodIntegrity 'the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished or in perfect condition'. Providing assurance to consumers and other stakeholders about the safety, authenticity and quality of European food (integrity) is of prime importance in adding value to the European Agri-food economy.

To design, develop and implement in the agri-food industry a system based on the integration and combination of low-cost, portable and miniature NIRS sensors and information and communication technologies (ICTs) for process control and voluntary labelling, to guarantee the integrity and international image of the EU high added-value "acorn Iberian pig ham".

- Transferring previous database.
- Micro-NIR prototype.
- Prediction models for fatty acids profile.
- Classification models for commercial categories.
- App for process monitoring.
- App for consumers.
- Demo results, training guidelines and wider exploitations of NIRS.

• Provide better process control systems, through a more intensive sampling and more accurate measurement of food properties taken on-site in a non-destructive way, improving decision making in real time, both for the pork industry in particular, and in general for the food industry, since many of the methodological aspects developed can be extrapolated to other foods products. This is expected to significantly improve production efficiency, set new quality standards in relation to food composition and reduce the number of complaints from consumers.
• Replace the traditional analytical control methods used in the pork industry, by a nondestructive and smart sensor that does not require the use of chemicals, allowing the implementation of control systems that are more sustainable in terms of environment and economy.
• To setup the scientific and technical specifications to extend non invasive on-site NIR micro-sensors to other relevant European food and feed commodity issues according to the consumers and producers needs and in terms of applicability to small and large industries.
• Improve competitiveness and quality of EU pork production, increasing consumer confidence in the quality and safety of EU food products, both in the EU and international markets, as a result of an improved analytical and control regime.
• Provide to manufacturers and suppliers the opportunity to add value to their products by ensuring that their own distinctive quality standards are met.
• Provide a technical platform for legislators and regulatory bodies to understand what is or is not possible and to facilitate inspection tasks, avoiding food adulteration, fraud and food-crisis episodes by implementation of extremely fast screening and non-invasive methods in the pork industry.
• Possibly obtain patents based on the instrumentation prototypes developed, mathematic algorithms and applications developed in the project for responding to specific problems and control requirements of the pork industry, and its possible application to other food and feed products.

Ingeniería de Sistemas de Producción Agro-Ganaderos

Code PAIDI: AGR 128

DOLORES C. PEREZ MARIN. Coordinator WP19, WP21. 

Universidad de Córdoba

Budget of Andalusian group: € 369,849.60€

AGR 128 - Ingeniería de Sistemas de Producción Agro-Ganaderos

Keywords: NIRS, ICT platforms, on-site analysis, high added value food, Iberian pig ham
Duration: 34 months. March, 1th 2016 to December, 31th 2018
Project cost: € 851,568.2€