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Previous newsletters

2019

24th Newsletter – June 2019 (PDF 4 Mb, PDF 955KB)


2018

23rd Newsletter – December 2018 (PDF 5.8 MB, PDF 998 KB)

22nd Newsletter – May 2018 (PDF 4 MB, PDF 725 KB)


2017

21st Newsletter – December 2017 (PDF 5 MB, PDF 955 KB)

20th Newsletter – September 2017 (PDF 3.9 MB, PDF 1.1 MB)

19th Newsletter – May 2017 (PDF 4.3 MB, PDF 1.2 MB)


2016

18th Newsletter – December 2016 (PDF 2.4 MB, PDF 676 KB)

17th Newsletter – September 2016 (PDF 2.8 MB)

16th Newsletter – May 2016 (PDF 4.3 MB, PDF 1.5 MB)


2015

15th Newsletter – December 2015 (PDF 2.9 MB, PDF 776 KB)

14th Newsletter – October 2015 (PDF 3.9 MB, PDF 959 KB)

13th Newsletter – July 2015 (PDF 2.5 MB, PDF 731 KB)

12th Newsletter – April 2015 (PDF 3.4 MB, PDF 640 KB)


2014

11th Newsletter – December 2014 (PDF 3.8 MB, PDF 820 KB)

10th Newsletter – September 2014 (PDF 3.8 MB, PDF 850 KB)

9th Newsletter – June 2014 (PDF 2.1 MB, PDF 450 KB)


2013

8th Newsletter – December 2013 (PDF – 1.3MB)

7th Newsletter – July 2013 (PDF – 1.6MB)


2012

6th Newsletter – December 2012 (PDF – 4MB)

5th Newsletter – April 2012 (PDF – 3,7MB)


2011

4th Newsletter – August 2011 (PDF – 2,1MB)


2010

3rd Newsletter – November 2010 (PDF 1,2MB)

2nd Newsletter – June 2010 (PDF 4,9MB)


2009

1st Newsletter – November 2009 (PDF 1,6MB)

News 2020

ValorizeByProducts Project

From Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (PT) 

The ValorizeByProducts project aims to enhance the by-products of through its use in the form of supplements as co-adjuvants in the prevention or treatment of obesity. The project also aims to reduce the amount of waste associated with Brassicas crops and associated costs.

By-products resulting from the agri-food industry are normally treated as industrial waste, representing large quantities of by-products with negative economic and environmental impacts. For this reason, in recent years, research has focused on transformation of by-products generated in the processing of fruits and vegetables in various value-added products. By-products resulting from the harvest of plants of the genus Brassica (kale, broccoli, cauliflower …) can be a good source of bioactive compounds. These by-products could be explored and used as extracts with biological potential activity for prevent or delay the onset of various pathologies related with obesity.

The VALORIZEBYPRODUCTS Project [Ref No. 029152, is funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology and co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through COMPETE 2020 – Operational Competitiveness and Internationalization Program (POCI)] is coordinated by Professor Eduardo Rosa at UTAD (Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro).

In a first task, an extract will be obtained from by-products of Brassicas (stems and leaves) and the the amount of glucoraphanin / sulforaphane present will be quantified.  These results will be passed to CNC (Center of Neurosciences and Cell Biology) at the University of Coimbra, namely the MitoXT (Mitochondrial Toxicology and Therapeutics Experimental) group, coordinated by Dr. Paulo Oliveira. This group participates in the project by evaluating the cellular and mitochondrial toxicity of various broccoli extracts, while assessing whether any of these extracts have a protective effect against in vitro cell models.  Later pharmacokinetic studies will be carried out in rodents and the most promising doses of BBE without toxicity will be tested in an animal model of obesity in order to validate its use. The anti-obesity actions will be evaluated in mice subjected to a diet high in fat and sugar.

For more information, please contact Eduardo Rosa ([email protected])

Webinar “Impact of Brexit on Food Labelling”

12th August 2020

From the 1st January 2021, European Union (EU) law will no longer apply in the United Kingdom, following Brexit (31st January 2020) and end of the transition period (31st December 2020). Withdrawal will affect all areas where EU has had a legislative role including food safety.

Since the 2000s, following several human food and animal feed crises (e.g. ‘Mad Cow Disease’) UK food safety policy has been governed mainly at the European level to ensure better harmonisation across Member States (MS). EU regulations do not prevent MS from imposing national legislation, provided these also comply with European law.

Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers (FIC) entered into application on 13 December 2014. It covers all stages along the food chain related to production, processing, and distribution of food in the EU. For instance, FIC requires nutrition information be provided directly on packaging and mandates minimum font size and presentation of details, such as name of the food business operator (FBO) and origin. Thus, what is going to happen once FIC is no longer applied in the UK?

Significant legislative changes are not expected for the sake of Europe-wide food businesses, since different labelling requirements would translate into millions of additional (and unnecessary) costs. However, FBOs could be forced to comply with extra requirements:

  • Name or business name and address of importer or UK FBO must be included

  • Country of origin labelling might continue for mixed foods, eggs, organic products, minced meat, fruit and vegetables, blended honeys and olive oil as well as beef and veal. Therefore, since it would be misleading and inaccurate to label a product containing ingredients from the UK as EU, origins may be specified as UK and/or Non-UK for minced meat and fruit and vegetables; blend from more than one country for honeys and olive oils. However, Spanish and Italian olive oil producers have rejected this as likely to undermine their market presence in UK supermarkets.

  • Protected geographical indications and designations of origin will be protected by the UK but there might be a new logo for UK products, e.g. Stilton cheese.

Many questions remain unanswered with the ongoing negotiations. The UK Association of Chief Trading Standards Officers has encouraged adoption of a pragmatic approach to facilitate smooth transition to the new British legal framework and, for its part, the UK Food Standards Agency has launched a public consultation to gather stakeholders’ opinions.

The webinar “Impact of Brexit on Food Labelling” was organized by Squire Patton Boggs and hosted by Food Drink Federation.

Squire Patton Boggs is a full-service global law firm. Founded in Washington DC, the firm has offices in 20 countries across four continents and provides legal skills and business advice. For more information: https://www.squirepattonboggs.com/en/

Food Drink Federation represents the UK food and drink industry, the largest manufacturing sector in the country. FDF aims to respond to issues and challenges shaping the world in which its members operate. For more information: https://www.fdf.org.uk/home.aspx/>

In a world increasingly concerned about health and aesthetics, people are looking for healthier versions of foods not usually regarded as such. For this reason, Mintel has undertaken a market study to see what trends are having the most success (e.g. no added sugars, light, vegan) but, in this case, we are talking about biscuits and cookies.

Despite pressure from governments, healthcare, and to some extent consumers, the food industry has been slow to reduce sugar content, but current trends include:

  • Permissible snacking, i.e. biscuits made from nutritionally dense ingredients, such as teff flour – a gluten-free ancient North Africa – which resonates with consumers
  • Snacks with benefits, i.e. products that increase intake(s) that support immune function 

Product options can be categorised as ‘minus’, ‘native’, ‘plus’, ‘functional’, and ‘suitable for’. In Europe, natural is the most favoured by consumers whilst ‘no added sugar’ in sweet biscuits is growing slowly from a previously niche position, with maltitol the most popular sugar substitute. Consumers know very little about most sweeteners, so it would be good to provide more information about alternatives, like erythritol and xylitol, and improve consumers’ perceptions about these ingredients.

Consumption of some biscuits and/ or cookies brands are increasing because their recipes have been made healthier with, for example, addition of more plant protein to maintain satiety. Consumers no longer just look at calories, but also want biscuits and/ or cookies to provide benefits, but the role of ‘digestives’ in gut health are still to be validated as a health claim.

Among the benefits these functional biscuits and/ or cookies might bring are improved quality of sleep and relaxation, using three ingredients, specifically lavender, chamomile, and cannabis – the high cannabidiol low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) variety! Mintel’s Food & Drink Trend the Night Shift explored how modern life is creating a market for products that help people relax before bedtime. Other brands have focused on supporting the immune system, with iron, spelt or honey.

Mintel is a worldwide company, they provide analysis of consumer trends, markets, new products and on competitive landscapes to help their clients making better business decisions and faster. This webinar took place on 29thJune as part of the EU-funded project SWEET (Sweeteners and sweetness enhancers: Impact on health, obesity, safety and sugars). The Webinar was organised by Mintel GNPD, specifically Giorgia Pasqualetto.

For more information visit https://www.mintel.com/about-mintel 

For more information about SWEET: https://sweetproject.eu/sweet-project-update-may-2020/

TURNTABLE Kick Off Meeting

17-18 September 2019, Sassari (Italy) 

TURNTABLE aims to address the challenge of maintaining vitality and physical wellness amongst older adults (65 years and over) though an extendable one-stop-shop ICT platform (TURNTABLE). As we age, we tend to be more sedentary, less active, and less willing to engage with new technologies. These trends worsen normal age-related decline, both physical and cognitive. Thus, users will be involved at all stages in platform development including selection of components, integration and adaptation to user needs.

EuroFIR AISBL is responsible for Task 1.2 – Co-creation sessions execution (WP1), which aims to ensure design and content of TURNTABLE is optimal. We will recruit volunteers to help, organise sessions, and follow-up with participants in Belgium.

EuroFIR is also leading Task 5.3 – Impact-oriented dissemination (WP5), which aims to raise awareness of TURNTABLE and help with recruitment of users for both the co-creation sessions and field-trials. We will manage the project webpage, social media account, and be involved in development and delivery of the communication and dissemination plan for the project.

In September, project partners met in beautiful Sassari (IT) for a two-days face-to-face meeting to discuss the detailed activity planning. Many crucial decisions were taken, a Steering Committee appointed, and Deliverables assigned to beneficiaries.

Read more about TURNTABLE here

2019 – 10 – 02: 2nd Food Chemistry Conference, Shaping the future of food quality, safety, nutrition and health

The second Food Chemistry conference took place in Seville (ES) from 17-19 September and welcomed more than 400 food scientists from around the world to discuss the impact of research on food quality, nutrition and health, and food safety. Editor-in-Chief, Paul Finglas (QIB – UK, EuroFIR – BE), welcomed delegates with co-chairs Daniel Granato (Natural Resources Institute Finland – FI), Francisco Hidalgo (Instituto de la Grasa, CSIC – ES) and John van Camp (Ghent University – BE). Plenary and invited presentations covered topics including data analysis in food science, chemical reactions in foods, bioactive compounds, food safety, analytical chemistry, food structure and quality, food authenticity and traceability, and nutrition and health.

A jury of Food Chemistry Editors assessed 26 Short Talks, selected from abstracts, and prizes were awarded for Best Short Talk – Early Career  to Dr Aytul Hamzalioglu (Hacettepe University – TR) for “Multiresponse kinetic modelling of acrylamide and hydroxymethylfurfural formation during roasting of coffee as a sucrose-rich food system” and Best Short Talk – Established Career to Dr Petras Rimantas Venskutonis (Kaunas University of Technology – LT) for “Zero waste’ biorefining of berry pomace into functional ingredients by consecutive high pressure and enzyme assisted extractions with green solvents“.

In addition, the jury also assessed 273 posters; posters from each section (Data analysis in food science, Chemical reactions in foods, Bioactive compounds, Food safety, Analytical chemistry, Food structure and quality, Food authenticity and traceability, and Nutrition) were recognised as leaders in their field but, overall, the winners were:

  1. Kim & Lee, Chung-Ang University, Republic of Korea for Assessment of phenolic profile changes of chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) and mulberry (Morus Microphylla. Buckl) during in vitro gastrointestinal digestion
  2. Ollinger et al. FFoQSI, Austria for Identification of mold and yeast in bakery based on PCR; and
  3. Tagkouli et al. Harokopio University, Greece for NMR and FT-IR characterization of pleurotus mushrooms cultivated on agro industrial wastes and Lehner & B. Siegmund, Graz University of Technology, Austria for Impact of insufficient ventilation during post-harvest ripening on the flavour of mangoes (Mangifera indica)

For more information about Food Chemistry visit https://www.journals.elsevier.com/food-chemistry

For more information about the second Food Chemistry Conference visit https://www.elsevier.com/events/conferences/food-chemistry-conference

European finale of the SEAFOODTOMORROW recipe contest

Between December 2018 and May 2019, aspiring chefs from Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Poland, France, and Sweden have been battling it out to create new seafood recipes using sustainable species, rather than commonly over-fished species. Supported by the EU-funded SEAFOODTOMORROW project, winners from the six national contests participated in the final competition, which took place on the 1st July at the culinary school - Ferrandi in Paris (FR).

Students and teachers from regional cooking schools were asked to create innovative dishes, using locally-sourced, sustainable seafood species, which cater specifically to dietary needs of pregnant women, older people, and children. On a population basis, these groups eat the least fish, but would benefit from the high-quality, easily digested protein and other nutrients (e.g. omega-3 in oily fish).

Entries were judged by a panel of representatives from the seafood and food industry and mass catering companies, as well as chefs and nutritionists. The winning recipes were judged on nutritional value, texture / functionality aspects, and industrial feasibility. Angelika Mantur-Vierendeel was a member of the jury, because of her nutritional expertise and previous experience with helping individuals eat more healthily, as well as her passion for cooking. Two dishes were chosen from each category, which will be adapted for production in restaurants, hotels, and canteens across Europe.

All the recipes taking part will be included in a SEAFOODTOMORROW recipe eBook to be made publicly available and, hopefully, available for tasting at the SEAFOODTOMORROW final event in 2020.

Pictures of the dishes:

Pictures of the contestants and the jury:

NUTRIMAD 2018 Congress (IV World Congress of Public Health Nutrition and XII Congress of the Spanish Society of Community Nutrition)

24th - 27th October 2018, Madrid (ES) 

The XII Congress of the Spanish Society for Community Nutrition (NUTRIMAD) was this year held jointly with the IV World Congress of Public Health and Nutrition in Madrid (ES). EuroFIR member, Universidad CEU San Pablo, organised this worldwide congress, which included topics such as education for better nutrition, social aspects of food, the Mediterranean diet, physical exercise, emotional balance and food, community nutrition for an ageing society, food sustainability, healthy gastronomy, hydration, and community living and eating.

The congress was attended by almost 500 people representing physicians, nurses, dietitians, journalists, researchers, chefs, educators, the food industry and government. Prof. Dr Gregorio Varela-Moreiras, Professor of Nutrition at the CEU San Pablo University and co-president of NUTRIMAD 2018 declared, “we wanted to create a high-quality scientific program highlighting the national and international research activity that will also serve to lay the foundations for future research”. The Congress concluded with the Declaration of Madrid on nutrition for the XXI century, a consensus document that offers nutritional guidelines to promote healthy habits among the population as a whole that should serve as an inspiration for the whole society. Prof. Dr Carmen Pérez-Rodrigo, President of the Spanish Society of Community Nutrition (SENC) and co-president of NUTRIMAD 2018, commented, “this Declaration aims to create a strong compromise to achieve a better quality of life, a happier society and a positive, active and healthy aging in the present and future generations”.

Symposium: Food Composition in the Mediterranean, harmonisation & networking

Saturday 27th October, Madrid (ES), by Maria Kapsokefalou (AUA, GR)

EuroFIR co-organised this symposium, which was chaired by EuroFIR Director, Maria Kapsokefalou (AUA, GR). Speakers included another EuroFIR Director (Helena Soares Costa, INSA, PT), Aida Turrini (former EuroFIR Director, CREA, IT) and Angela Morena Martinez (EuroFIR Member, University of Granada, ES), and they presented the history and current state of food composition databases (FCDBs) in Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal. Strengths,weaknesses, and the challenges FCDBs face in each of these countries in meeting demands from research and in policy development were also discussed. One of the recommendations arising from these discussions was the need for expanding the Mediterranean Network (MeNe) to include other EU and non-EU countries in the Mediterranean Region, which would
create synergies in the region to meet the challenges.