Author Archive

Our members

EuroFIR Members

In recent years, many distinguished members from Academia and Industry have joined EuroFIR AISBL, these include individuals and organisations working in dietetics, food manufacturing and retail, software development, public sector funding, regulation and policy-making, and academia. Our members are full members, compiler and non-compiler organizations, organization members, individuals, and students.

  • Full Members are restricted to the original EuroFIR project partners including many food composition database compiler organisations. New compilers initially join as Associate Members before converting to Full Member status after approval by the General Assembly.
  • Organisation Members: Universities & Academia, Research Institutes, SMEs, Food Technology Institutes, Food Safety Organisations, Policy Makers, Commercial Organisations (Food Manufacturers, Food Service Providers, Retailers)
  • Individual Members: Researchers, Dietitians, Clinicians, Patients, Consumers
  • Students

New members are welcome to join our activities! Click here for more information!

Full Members

QBI – Quadram Bioscience Institute, UK

NHID – National Institute for Health Development, Estonia

JSI – Institut Jozef Stefan, Slovenia

THL – National Institute for Health and Welfare, Nutrition Unit, Finland         

ANSES – French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety, France

NFSA – The Norwegian Food Safety Authority, Norway                                                                        

INSA- Instituto Nacional de Saude Dr Ricardo Jorge, Portugal                                    

NFA – Swedish National Food Agency, Sweden                                                            

IMR – Institute of Medical Research, University of Belgrade, Republic of Serbia

NUBEL – Nutrienten Belgie vzw, Belgium

RIVM – Institute of Public Health and the Environment, The Netherlands

BEDCA/University of Cordoba, Spain

IAEI – Institute of Agricultural Economics and Information, Czech Republic

FSANZ – Food Standards Australia New Zealand

CREA – Consiglio per la Ricerca e la sperimentazione in Agricoltura, Italy

OGYEI/NIPN – National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition

FSVO – Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office, Switzerland

MHI – Ministry of Health Isreal

Associate Members

MRI – Max Rubner Institute, Germany

Plant & Food Research – Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited, New Zealand

Full members non compilers

AUA – Agricultural University of Athens, Greece

UGent – University of Gent, Belgium

UHEL – University of Helsinki, Finland

NPPC VUP – National Agricultural and Food Centre, Food Research Institute, Slovakia

WUR – Wageningen University, The Netherlands

Ordinary members

Dato, Austria

MS Nutrition, France

CAPNUTRA, Republic of Serbia

Colombani Consulting, Switzerland

Eaternity, Switzerland

IEO – European Oncology Institute, Italy

Hylobates – Hylobates Consulting Srl, Italy

MANE – V MANE Fils SA, France

NANYANG Polytechnic – School of Chemical & Life Sciences_Nanyang Polytechnic, Singapore

Polytec, Denmark

CEU – Universidad CEU San Pablo, Spain

JRC – European Commission Joint Research Centre, Italy

UOA – University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom

Crème Global, Ireland

FFA – Finnish Food Authority, Finland

Odisee University, Belgium

UCC – University College Cork, Ireland

UoL – University of Ljubljana – Biotechnical Faculty, Slovenia

UoO – University of Oslo, Norway

IMR – Institute of Marine Research, Norway

TUBITAK Marmara Research Centre, Turkey

UoP – University of Pretoria, South Africa

SAMRC – South African Medical Research Center, South Africa

PepsiCo International Ltd, United Kingdom

EUFIC, Belgium

ISZU – Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University, Turkey

Premotec GmbH, Switzerland

NFI – National Food Institute (Denmark)

HoGhent University, Belgium

Mahidol University, Institute of Nutrition, Thailand

HNRU INRAE – Human Nutrition Research Unit, INRAE, France

MRC Epidemiology Unit, The Great Britain

Orlando Import Export Srl, Romania

SSN – Swiss Society for Nutrition, Switzerland

Alma Food SAS, France

Nutritics, Ireland

marketing

Towards a childhood free from unhealthy food marketing

2021-11-09

Up to 30% of under 16s are overweight or obese in Spain, Italy, Malta, Poland, Rumania, and Czech Republic, leading to greater focus on unhealthy food marketing targeted at children.

Against this background, the European Public Health Alliance gathered experts in their field to explore the influence of food marketing on decisions around food choices. The conclusion was overwhelming, limiting the influences of advertising of unhealthy food is key in preventing further increases and reversing obesity trends in Europe.

The Spanish Ministry of Consumers Affairs intends to ban advertisements for unhealthy foods and drinks aimed at children and adolescents delivered via TV, radio, social media, websites, applications, cinemas, and newspapers. With this in mind, the panel launched a Blueprint Directive for the protection of children from marketing of nutritionally poor food. The aim being to present European legislators with expert opinion and the legislative framework for immediate action.

For more information visit their website here, where you can also download the presentations.

Speakers:

  • Moderator – Nikolai Pushkarev, European Public Health Alliance (EPHA, BE)
  • Amandine Garde (University of Liverpool, UK)
  • Jo Jewell (UNICEF, US)
  • Sarah Wiener (MEP, DE)
  • Nelleke Polderman (BEUC, BE)
  • Manuela Ripa (MEP, DE)
  • Patrick O’Sullivan (CPME, BE)
  • Sibylle Reichert (AIM, BE)
  • Shira Zelber-Sagi (EASL, BE & UEG, AT)
  • Kathryn Reilly (Irish Heart Foundation, IE & EHN, BE)
  • Tasha Mhakayakora (Bite Back 2030, UK)

 

European Public Health Alliance

Processed food

EUFIC Processed Foods Symposium

How to communicate about what we (don’t) know?

What makes a food product a healthy or unhealthy product? Are processed foods less healthy than non-processed foods? And, what’s the difference between processed and ultra-processed foods? The European Food Information Council (EUFIC) explored these and more at their processed foods symposium on 24.11.2020.The symposium also considered the role of processed foods within a healthy and sustainable diet.

This symposium included presentations about front-of-pack labelling schemes (e.g. Nutri-Score and NOVA), and effects of food on our physical and mental wellbeing as well as the science behind food processing. Two of the take-home messages were that ultra-processed food stuffs are usually more calorie-dense and, in general, food portions are significantly larger now than 50 years ago.

Read more about the symposium here

EUFIC is a non-profit organisation, established in 1995, which aims to provide engaging science-based information to inspire and empower healthier and more sustainable food and lifestyle choices.

EuroFIR is a Member of EUFIC and Paul Finglas (Managing Director) joined their Executive Board in November 2020.

Politico event report

Healthcare Summit

Since the new European Commission took office last year, a wide range of health policies have been launched. This healthcare summit, organised by POLITICO, considered several important topics including Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, sharing of health data across the European Union, rare diseases research, and lessons learned from the coronavirus pandemic as well as innovation in the pharmaceutical industry and potential medicines shortages.

The main takeaways were:

  • 40% of cancer are preventable, so more investment in prevention is key
  • Data protection must be ensured in partnership with data sharing
  • European Commission is moving towards a EU health data space

More information about the outcomes of this summit are available here

POLITICO is an American political journalism company based in Virginia. POLITICO EUROPE covers politics and policy in the European Union.

Meat substitutes: Winning products

Meat substitutes: New products and advanced technology

Kitchentown organised a roundtable (12.12.2020) to explore advancements in plant-based meats, and the challenges this sector face.

The food industry is aware of the shift towards plant-based diets and are trying to create the best meat substitute foods. Thanks to extrusion technologies – commonly used to create snacks and other processed foods – it is possible to convert plant proteins into meat-like structures.

Extrusion can be either dry (e.g., textured soy) or wet (e.g., Heura or chicken-wise products). What is important for many consumers is that, whilst switching to plant-based products, what many know and love about meat is retained, recreating the texture, smell and colour of traditional meat environments, such a barbecue or a burger restaurant.

Kitchentown is a global innovation platform helping develop and launch impact-driven, transformational food & beverage products

Nutri-score

Food labelling for healthier choices: Towards an EU-wide Nutri-Score?

A round-table organised by the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) to explore the different front-of-package options within Farm-to-Fork Strategy

European Union citizens are getting fatter with more than half either overweight or obese. Excess weight is a risk factor for other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including high blood pressure, itself a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke), type 2 diabetes and, potentially, increased risk of complications associated with COVID-19. Eating a healthy diet and regular exercise are two key elements in controlling weight. Yet, spotting healthy products is tricky. To help consumers, and acknowledging that the detailed nutrition information is not readily understood during the weekly shop, a variety of so-called front-of-pack labelling schemes have been developed by governments and the food industry with the intention to make selecting foods within a health diet easier.

With Farm-to-Fork, the European Commission is exploring front-of-pack labels with the aim to make one mandatory scheme EU-wide. Nutri-Score, classifying products from A (good) to E (no so good), has already been implemented in Belgium, France, and Germany, and is in the spotlight for European policymakers. However, like all the schemes, Nutri-Score is far from perfect (assigning a food as good or bad is highly nuanced) and has both supporters and detractors.

BEUC hosted the second #ConsumerDebate to explore Nutri-Score from the consumer perspective with representatives from the European Commission DG SANTE, the German EU Presidency, Delhaize and Nestlé, and national consumer groups.

Find out more about Nutri-Score here.

BEUC is an umbrella organisations, founded in 1962, which is based in Brussels (BE), bringing together 45 European consumer organisations from 32 countries.

Discussion Groups

Discussion Groups

Following a review of the EuroFIR Discussion Groups (DGs), we intended to streamline operations and widen the range of topics and participation.

Currently, there are five DGs (Documentation, Laboratory Analysis, Branded Foods, Recipe Calculation, and the FoodCASE). These topics reflect issues that were identified as important when the DGs were launched. They are still relevant but primarily to food composition data compilers. We believe there are topics and questions that are of general interest to the wider EuroFIR Membership and, currently, the Membership is missing out on the benefits of DG activities.

To avoid overlap between DGs, and facilitate broader discussions, we will create one EuroFIR Discussion Group for all EuroFIR members. The FoodCASE User Group will continue to operate separately, as it does now, although FoodCASE User Group members will also be members of the EuroFIR Discussion Group.

Current DGs topics will continue within the new EuroFIR Discussion Group with group leaders supporting these. Discussions are largely by email, with meetings and workshops arranged as necessary in response to Member interest (e.g., EuroFIR Food Forum, Protein Calculation workshop).

EuroFIR Discussion Group (persistent) topics will be:

  • Documentation, led by Susanne Westenbrink (RIVM, NL), Monica Hauger Carlsen (UIO, NO)
  • Branded Foods, led by Patrizia Gnagnarella (IEO, IT) and Maria Kapsokefalou (AUA, GR)
  • Recipe Calculation, led by Katja Sandfuchs (MRI, DE) and Mark Roe (EuroFIR, BE)
  • Laboratory Analysis, led by Helena Costa (INSA, PT) and Mark Roe (EuroFIR, BE)

We hope that the EuroFIR Discussion Group will identify other issues that are important to Members, and additional meetings and workshops can be arranged to facilitate further discussion. However, not all discussions need to be about “big problems” and Members are welcome to ask questions for input from more experienced colleagues.

We hope that EuroFIR Members will benefit from being more aware of discussions and the opportunity to raise a broader range of issues. There will also be opportunities for Members to discuss collaborative approaches to proposals and projects.

Examples of topics that could be discussed within the EuroFIR Discussion Group include:

  • Issues related to compilation of food composition datasets
  • Use of food composition data (including nutrients, bioactive compounds, and contaminants)
  • Food consumption data
  • Other food and nutrition related datasets
  • Nutrition related research related to compilation or use of food information data
  • Training and dissemination activities/ opportunities relevant to EuroFIR
  • Collaboration opportunities with or facilitated by EuroFIR

Both the EuroFIR Discussion and the FoodCASE User Groups will operate under Office365, allowing easy access to information via emails as well as SharePoint file storage, which will be organised into topic folders and documents. All Members will have access to the group emails and documents. Access to group emails is managed by adding the Inbox to your email management software.

Initially, all EuroFIR Members will be added to the EuroFIR Discussion Group, but you can choose to leave at any time (or indeed be re-included), although we would like to think participation is useful and informative and we aim to be inclusive. Please use the group to open discussions on any topic you want to share, raise questions, or ask for opinions. The group will be the starting point for continued collaboration and make progress towards EuroFIR and Members’ organisations goals.

If you have any questions about the groups or set up to receive the emails or access the EuroFIR SharePoint files, contact the EuroFIR Secretariat ([email protected]).

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 KO

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

Food Chemistry Conference

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