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3rd IMEKOFOODS Conference

Date: 1-4/10/2017
Organiser: Imekofoods
Location: Thessaloniki, Greece

The third international IMEKOFOODS conference was organized in Thessaloniki from 1st-4th October 2017. The IMEKOFOOD conference brings together scientists working on development of methods and approaches that reveal qualitative characteristics of foods, refresh the knowledge base and explore the innovation of issues surrounding measurements related to food components and contaminants.There were more than 280 participants present from 22 countries with 80 oral and 78 poster presentations.

The presentations were organized into following sessions:

  • FoodOmics,
  • Analytical approaches for food contaminants and risk assessment
  • FT-IR-RAMAN- Other spectroscopic techniques
  • Elemental and isotopic analysis for food traceability and authenticity
  • Current and future needs in industry and official control laboratories
  • Novel methods, markers, devices and services
  • Measurement uncertainty
  • Antioxidants and other bioactive compounds
  • Experimental design
  • Sensory analysis
  • Food chemistry, technology and analysis
  • Current needs in oils and fats analysis
  • OLEUM – better solutions to protect olive oil quality and authenticity

In the frame of FoodOmics – Food Composition Databanks session, The development of FoodEXplorer – (A EuroFIR data interchange tool for searching and retrieving multiple food composition databases  – Westenbrink, S., Kadvan A., Korousic Seljak, B., Moller, A., Ireland, J., Glibetic, M., Mantur, A., Roe, M., Finglas, P.)  was presented.

The audience was introduced with the mission and work of EuroFIR on field of harmonization and standardization of food composition databases.  The EuroFIR Food Data Platform with its basic pillars as the Food Composition Database Management, the harmonized thesauri system, the food description system and the data Interchange Standards and FoodExplorer web tool development were described. The presentation also provided information about the collection of 30 European and non European food composition databases harmonized and standardized in this tool (food items and chemical components, Langual descriptors), about the implemented quality management system and about the simultaneous search and data comparison facilities and data download options. The presentation highlighted the importance of harmonized food and value documentation regarding to sources and quality of the data which is implemented in FoodEXplorer. The benefits of the FoodEXplorer, the wide range of applicability in field of research and in other nutritional software tools and the importance of further work on updated datasets, improved data documentation and dissemination were also presented to the audience.

Authors Maillot M. (MS Nutrition)  Darmon N. (UMR NORT INRA/INSERM/AMU, Marseille, France) Abstract Objectives

It is expected from nutrient profiling systems that they classify individual foods according to their contribution to healthy and nutritionally adequate diet.The SENS is a 4-classes nutrient profiling system proposed as a basis for a simplified labelling system. It is derived from the SAIN,LIM system initially developed by the French Food Standard Agency. The present study aims at validating the SENS nutrient profiling system by examining its ability to classify foods in a hierarchical order according to their contribution to nutritionally adequate diets.

Materials and Methods

The 1192 foods of the French food composition database were assigned into the 4 classes defined by the SENS. Foods with the most/least favourable nutrient profiles were in Class-1 and Class-4, respectively. For each individual diet consumed by 20-75 year old adults in the nationally representative INCA2 dietary survey (n=1719 observed diets), an optimized diet (i.e. iso-energetic, nutritionally adequate and as close as possible from the subject’s observed food choices) was designed with individual diet modelling. Each optimized diet respected the WHO recommendations for proteins, total carbohydrates, free sugars (<10% of total energy), total lipids, saturated fatty acids (SFA, <10% of total energy), cholesterol and essential fatty acids), the Nordic recommendation for sodium, and the French recommendations for fibers, 10 vitamins, 9 minerals. The contribution of foods from the 4 SENS classes to total energy was assessed before and after the optimization process, for each individual diet.


On average, the optimization induced a 9.2 points increase of energy from Class-1 foods (20.5% vs 29.7% in observed vs optimized diets, p<0.001), a 4.4 points increase from Class-2 foods (26.4% vs 30.8%, p<0.001), a 2.3 points decrease from class-3 foods (25.6% vs 23.3 %, p<0.001) and a 11.2 points decrease from Class-4 foods (27.4% vs 16.2%, p<0.001). The increase of energy from Class-1 and Class-2 was verified for 96% and 73%, respectively, of the adult sample and the decrease of energy from Class-3 and Class-4 was confirmed for 63% and 94%, respectively.


The shift in food intakes needed to reach nutritional adequacy – namely substantial increase, moderate increase, moderate decrease and important decrease of foods from classes 1, 2, 3 and 4 respectively -followed a hierarchical progression according to the 4 SENS classes Therefore, the SENS nutrient profiling system is a relevant tool to classify foods in a hierarchical way according to their contribution to nutritionally adequate diets, suggesting that it could be useful in the context of simplified nutritional labelling in Europe.

  • Diet modelling
  • Nutrient profiling
  • Food labelling
Authors Durazzo A., Lisciani S., Camili E., Marconi S., Gabrielli P., Gambelli L., Aguzzi A., Gambelli L., Lucarini M., Marletta L (CREA (Council for Agricultural Research and Economics) – Food and Nutrition) Abstract

Nowadays, the concept of “optimal nutrition”, is leading researchers to study not only the nutritional properties and roles of individual components or of food simples, but also their combination in dishes, meals and diets. Italy is extremely rich in traditional foods and dishes, and their production has been passed from generation to generation, thus playing an important role within local cultures.  Efforts have been increasingly made to analyze the nutritional composition of traditional dishes both to know more what we eat and to include them in national Food Composition DataBase (FCDB) (1, 2).


This work aims at evaluating the nutritional composition, their coverage for Dietary Reference Values (DRVs) in Italian population, and the antioxidant properties of some popular dishes commonly consumed and representative of the traditional cousin, for a better understanding of their nutritional role. Material and Methods. The chosen dishes were: spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with claims), pasta alla carbonara (pasta with eggs, bacon and parmesan), pasta alla amatriciana (pasta with tomato, cured pork cheek and pecorino cheese), pomodori al riso (rice-stuffed tomatoes), gateau di patate (potatoes pie), carciofi alla romana (stuffed artichokes), pan di spagna (sponge cake), torta di mele (apple cake). Every recipe was prepared in duple according to traditional cooking techniques in a dedicated lab-kitchen following standardized protocols (recipe, ingredients and preparation). Only pomodori al riso dishes were purchased from different take-away points. Chemical parameters (protein, fat, ash, carbohydrates, dietary fibre) were evaluated by the AOAC Official Methods. Antioxidant properties by FRAP (Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power) and Total Polyphenol Content (TPC) were determined in aqueous-organic extracts and in the corresponding residues.

Main finding

Results showed that chemical composition and energy value varied extensively because of the variety, the type and amounts of ingredients in the analyzed dishes, and thus defined different daily nutrient intakes and their association with health effects.  Regarding antioxidant properties, for all dishes, except the carciofo alla romana, the hydrolysable polyphenols (residues) were major contributors to the total antioxidant activity. The carciofo alla romana dish reached the highest FRAP value (87.46 µmol/g FW) in aqueous-organic extract, while other recipes were within the lower range (1.27-6.25 µmol/g FW). In residue the values range from 10.53 to 62.48 µmol/g FW.


Our findings thus provide knowledge of the nutrient profile of some Italian traditional dishes and contribute to updating the Italian Food Composition Database, also by means of values for their antioxidant properties. The availability of these new and suitable food composition data will also facilitate further nutrition-related studies and will likely encourage the consumption of dishes rich in key nutrients and bioactive molecules.

  • Nutrient profiling
  • Consumption frequency
  • Portion size
Authors Lombardi Boccia G., Lucarini M., d’Evoli L., Aguzzi A., Gabrielli P., Camili E. (CREA (Council for Agricultural Research and Economics) – Food and Nutrition) Abstract

The ongoing study is planned to provide a picture of compositional figure and nutritional value of meat based dishes typical of Italian culinary tradition. The goal is to develop a database of the recipes among the most widespread ones in Italy in order to estimate the dietary nutrient intake through diet. The main database outcome lies in offering a range of nutritional data that are a useful tool for the food policy makers.

Data on the composition of cooked foods and dishes are often missing in nutritional databases, conversely they can offer reliable information on the effective nutrient intake and can represent a proper and useful tool to guide consumers and nutritionists in the formulation of specific diets. Material and Methods Several meat cuts of bovine and pork were analysed and, in order to assess changes in the nutrient composition, raw and cooked meat cuts were compared.

Each selected dish was prepared three times in a test kitchen; stainless steel tools were used. After cooking, each dish was homogenised and stored at -30°C for subsequent analyses. Samples were analysed for macro-nutrients (AOAC), fatty acids (GC/MS), cholesterol, macro elements (Ca, Mg, Na, K, P) and trace elements (Fe, Zn, Cu, Mn) (ICP-OES), B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin), vitamin E and t-retinol content (LC/MS/MS).


For each recipe more than 30 nutrients are presented. The database contains information on cooking methods and recipe formulation (ingredients). Our findings show substantial differences between raw meat and the respective meat based dishes. These differences were mainly due to ingredients. Among ingredients, olive oil was responsible for the shift of fatty acids classes to MUFA as well of the significant increase in vitamin E content.


The choice of the foods for daily consumption and the way in which they are prepared, the ingredients included in the recipes, strongly changes their intrinsic nutritional value. This can play an important role in determining the overall quality of the daily diet and have, therefore, a direct impact on health status. Our findings provide data about changes occurring upon cooking in foods as consumed in the daily recipes compared with the raw foods. The knowledge of the changes in molecules of nutritional interest (eg. fatty acids, iron, zinc, vitamins, cholesterol) occurring upon cooking is of importance because this allows to get a correct calculation of their actual intake at consumer level, and can be a proper and useful tool to formulate more accurate diets. The study contributes to establish criteria necessary to design appropriate data base that includes the recipes specific for meat-based dishes, and can highlight the impact of certain foods and diets on health, and assist potential users and industry leaders to develop better guidelines food policy.

  • database
  • meat dishes
  • recipe
Authors Martinez Burgos M.A., Moreno Martinez A., de Victoria Carazo I.M., Torregosa Y., Almendros M., Alonso O., Berruezo R., Rojas M. ( Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology “José Matáix”, University of Granada) Abstract INTRODUCTION Food composition databases (FCDBs) form part of an integrated nutrition and health research, patient treatment, manufacturing processes, and consumer information. FCDBs have been traditionally compiled at a national level. Therefore, until recently, there was limited standardization of different data sets across procedures (Finglas et al., 2014). The food composition data can be obtained from different sources (private companies, universities, government laboratories and food industry). They can also be borrowed from the scientific literature or even of nutrition labeling. There are different proposals to evaluate the quality of food composition data (Martinez-Victoria, et al., 2015). OBJECTIVE Our aim in this work has been the implementation of the new version (v.2.2) of the Spanish Database Food Composition (BEDCA) by the combined method, according to standards of European Food Information Resource (EuroFIR). It has been carried out under the coordination and financing of the Spanish Agency for Consumer Affairs, Food Security and Nutrition (AECOSAN), the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality. MATERIAL AND METHODS 1. Description and Coding System food: a) FoodEx2 (revision 2), established by EFSA b) LanguaL ™ Food Product Indexer, version 3.91, and the LanguaL ™ 2008 Thesaurus, established by EuroFIR 2. Sources of analytical data: 2.1.- Scientific literature 2.2.- Other databases food composition 2.3.- Composition according labeling 3. Software Excel (data and metadata) 4. BEDCA (version 2.1) 5. Statistical package SPSS (version 22.0) RESULTS A. Incorporation of the following components (Sources: scientific articles published and peer reviewed; doctoral theses): 1. Individual Fatty Acids: • lauric acid (C12: 0) • myristic acid (C14: 0) • palmitic acid (C16: 0) • Stearic acid (C18: 0) • oleic acid (C18: 1 n9) • linoleic acid (C18: 2 n6) • α-linolenic acid (C18: 3 n3) • eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) (20: 5 n-3) • docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (C22: 6 n3) • arachidonic acid (AA) (C20: 4 n6) 2. Trans fatty acids. 3. Mono and disaccharides: • glucose • fructose • maltose • lactose • sucrose 4. Analitical data of carotenoids not provitamin (review) B. Classification of foods containing natural sugars according to and / or added following the method proposed by JCY Louie et al. (2015). C. It has been completed vitamin and mineral profile of foods that so far made up the previous version of BEDCA. D. Review of “controversial” BEDCA data. E. Collection and current incorporation of food composition data gluten from nutrition labeling of different trademarks. F. Development of protocol for generating recipes as guidelines EuroFIR, that are in the process of inclusion in EVALFINUT (, a computer application developed by the Iberoamerican Nutrition Foundation (FINUT) for evaluation or design diets. CONCLUSION Currently, BEDCA is the only Database Spanish Food Composition built under European standards of quality EuroFIR. The updated version will include new foods and components. It will also have a protocol to generate recipes as guidelines EuroFIR, which is in the process of inclusion in EVALFINUT, a software application developed by the Latin American Foundation of Nutrition (FINUT).

Expo 2015 EU Steering Committee

The discussion paper analyses research and innovation challenges, looks at areas of research where the EU can add most value and discusses the necessary changes in the structures within which research has traditionally been conducted. It identifies areas of research where the EU can add most value.

The European Commission launched an online consultation on the role of research in global food and nutrition security. The aim of the consultation is to gather the views of stakeholders, citizens and the scientific community on the role that research has to play in tackling the challenges associated with ensuring food and nutrition security, based on the findings of the discussion paper.

Click here for more information on the EU consultation.

Research Priorities for Food and Diets

Objectives of the study:
  • Identify challenges and relevant drivers of future societal developments relevant for provision and consumption of beneficial foods and diets
  •  Identify research and innovation priorities that support the provision and consumption of foods and diets for health and well-being
  • Support the implementation of Horizon 2020
Read the report – DOWNLOAD

Membership package for British Nutrition Foundation

The British Nutrition Foundation launched a new Associate Membership package for students and recent graduates of nutrition and related subjects and for those in the early stage of their careers. Membership runs from January – December and is available for £30, with the option to receive online access their journal Nutrition Bulletin as a bolt-on to this fee at a heavily subsidised rate. Join and BNF and benefit from a range of advantages (such as email alerts about forthcoming events, new publications and policy developments) !

For further information please visit their website

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EuroDISH Project

EuroDISH: final project leaflet published

Click here to download the report. 

eurodish final project outcomes

You can also visit the project website here.