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Reinforcement of the WBC research capacities for food quality characterization

Place: macedonia, Europe
Food consumption patterns: diet, environment, society, economy and health Food consumption patterns: diet, environment, society, economy and health
Total Budget: € 0,00 | Period: From January 2008 To December 2011

Summary

The main idea behind this project was to strengthen the research capacity in the western Balkan countries in food quality characterization by obtaining suitable equipment, improvement of the human potential by engaging young researchers and their training in the respective fields as well as establishing connections with leading European research groups in the area of food research.
The main objectives accomplished with the realization of this project are:
-Reinforcement of the research capacities of the laboratories in the WBC;
-Improvement of the human potential in the region by engaging young researchers and their training in member states, and also by sending scientists for specialized training;
-Increasing the international cooperation in the region and with eminent research institutions in the member states with similar scientific interests and promotion of joint RTD activities of mutual benefit between the EU and the WBC.

Partnership

Institute of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences and Mathematics, University Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Skopje, R. Macedonia - Macedonia

Lead applicant

Joint research unit “Science for Oenology”, National Institute for Agricultural Research, Montpellier, France - France

Initiative partner

With a permanent staff of 63 persons including 37 scientists and engineers, the joint research unit Sciences for Enology is one of the most important organizations involved in research in enology worldwide. It comprises 3 research teams : microbiology biosynthesis and composition in polyphenols and polysaccharides (BCP2) structures of phenolics: Interactions, reactivity, assemblies (SPIRAL) and common facilities : polyphenols platform other commun facilities : volatile compounds, sensory analysis, biotechnology Close interactions with the INRA Experimental Unit of Pech Rouge-Narbonne (UE PR) allow the development of research projects up to pilot or pre-industrial scale and provide unique opportunities for innovation and transfer.

Department of Food Science and Technology, National Centre for Scientific Research, Murcia, Spain - Spain

Initiative partner

The aim of CEBAS-CSIS is to generate through investigation necessary knowledge which make possible the development of strategies to achieve the sustainability of the scant resources which exist / existing in semiarid areas, through their correct management and making possible the development of a quality agriculture and obtaining healthy and safe vegetable food. The increase of the generated knowledge will make possible to contribute to taking decisions regarding the necessary rules to implement actions and policies in this regard. Besides, the research carried out will help to face very important problems such as water scarcity, create a better environment (reducing the greenhouse effect, preserving the soil, the vegetation and the organic matter). A sustainable agriculture will be guaranteed through the production of quality and healthy food and will contribute to the socioeconomic and environmental progress of future generations.

Institute of Organic Chemistry with Centre of Phytochemistry, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria - Bulgaria

Initiative partner

The main fundamental and applied investigations in IOCCP include: clarifying the relationship between the synthesis, the structure and the reactivity of organic compounds; isolation, determination of the structure and practical application of natural compounds; determination of the structure and the function of proteins, enzymes and peptides; study of the thermal and catalytic transformations of hydrocarbons.

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences and Mathematics, University of Niš, Serbia - Serbia

Initiative partner

The main idea behind this project was to strengthen the research capacity in the western Balkan countries in food quality characterization by obtaining suitable equipment, improvement of the human potential by engaging young researchers and their training in the respective fields as well as establishing connections with leading European research groups in the area of food research.The main objectives accomplished with the realization of this project are: - Reinforcement of the research capacities of the laboratories in the Western Balkan Countries. - Improvement of the human potential in the region by engaging young researchers and their training in member states, and also by sending scientists for specialized training. - Increasing the international cooperation in the region and with eminent research institutions in the member states with similar scientific interests and promotion of joint RTD activities of mutual benefit between the EU and the WBC.

The activities in the project have been focused on acquiring a sophisticated laboratory equipment and improvement of the human capacity by training of the young researchers for using the modern instruments for characterization of phenol compounds in complex samples (plants, fruits, wine) in the reinforced WBC laboratories.

The trend of production and use of healthy food has focused the researchers’ attention on characterization ofthe phenol profile of foods consumed. Fruits and fruit products are known to possess
beneficial effects on health due to a wide variety of natural polyphenols and consequently a great antioxidantpotential. Western Balkan Countries have great potential for production ofhealthy food with authentic origin and specified health promoting composition.In order to ensure efficient and appropriate development of food production and food quality characterizationin R. Macedonia and Serbia, according to EU standards and practice, this project is realized for upgrading the research capacity in food quality characterization by obtaining suitable equipment, improvement of the human potential by engaging young researchers and their training in the respective fields as well asestablishing connections with leading European research groups in the area of polyphenols characterizationin food.

In summary, all these activities resulted in a substantial reinforcement of the research capacity of the WBC research groups, their competence and competitiveness in the area of food quality characterization with emphasis on the antioxidant phenolic substances. The intensive exchange of knowledge and experience between the groups involved in this capacity project brought them together for future joint applications for research projects in the European research area. The expected impact on local and regional level is already accomplished in increased knowledge and skills for using scientific methodology in food quality characterization and contribution to raising the public awareness on the importance of assessing the quality of food during production and processing.

The main beneficiaries of the initiative were:
-Governmental and business communities,
-Young researchers,
-Research groups interested in future jointresearch in the area of food quality characterization.
- Companies were a special target with emphasis on wineries
-Faculty of Agriculture and Food,
-Agricultural institutes,
- Faculty ofPharmacy, as well as professionals working in laboratories for food quality control,
environmental, clinical laboratories, and also food producers in the food industry and SMEs,
and other companies dealing with various aspects of modern analytical chemistry.

The people that performed the initiative were:
-experts;
-scientist researchers ;
- businesses companies.

During the project implementation there were not significant obstacles.

Reinforcement of the research capacities
Improvement of the human potential
Increasing the international cooperation in the region and with eminent research institutions

This project has provided a platform on which beneficiaries can improve the research capacities for food characterization by obtaining suitable equipment (liquid chromatographs with appropriate detection systems), improvement of the human potential is foreseen by hiring young researchers and their training in the respective fields. With joint efforts of the researchers from R. Macedonia, Serbia and Bulgaria, on one side, and the renown EU research groups from Spain and France, on the other, methodology for characterization of antioxidant substances in fruits, juices and wines is going to be developed and applied. A regional network involved in research of various aspects of antioxidants in foods aimed towards providing the necessary knowledge, tools and methods for development of high quality, consumer-acceptable foods will be established. 

Dissemination of the reinforced capacity of the WBC laboratories has been presented on the national
and international scene by organizing open days for all interested researchers, SMEs and policy makers.
Also, workshops for presentation of mass spectrometry applications have been organized in order to give
the audience (researchers, professionals, graduates, PhD students) an insight in the possibilities and
current trends in this technique.
Long-term outcomes from this project are also foreseen among which:
- Enhanced participation in the FP7 and more extensive scientific cooperation in the region, already
demonstrated by the realization of another FP7 REGPOT contract by the Institute of Chemistry (SWOTCHEMISTRY-FOOD)
- Combating the brain-drain in the region by creating new job opportunities for young scientists for
training and working in well equipped laboratories and in a more competitive environment.