Abstract

CONffIDENCE in a nutshell

The presence of potentially hazardous chemicals in food remains a major concern among European consumers. Recent food contamination incidents, e.g. fraudulent addition of toxic chemicals to infant milk powders in China , certainly contribute to fears about the safety of food. Currently, a variety of analytical test methods are used to help ensure the safety of food and feed in Europe both for goods produced in the EU and imported from third countries. Many of these methods are tedious, time consuming, and require sophisticated and expensive instrumentation.

The CONffIDENCE project aims to further improve food safety in Europe by the development of faster and more cost-efficient methods for the detection of a wide range of chemical contaminants in different food and feed commodities. These methods will not only save precious time in ever faster production cycles, but will also permit more food/ feed samples to be monitored due to the lower cost per test. In combination with the broadened spectrum of detectable residues and contaminants the CONffIDENCE project will significantly increase food safety in Europe.

Following the scientific and technological development phase the new techniques will be widely disseminated:

  • Training workshops will be held for governmental and industrial end-users, e.g. National Reference Laboratories of the EU member states and trade associations that represent the food and feed sectors.
  • Results from the project will be presented to the scientific community by publications in the scientific press and presentations at relevant international conferences.
  • Consumers will also be kept fully informed via a series of Open Days and workshops for consumer organisations.
  • Education modules and training courses for under- and postgraduate students will be designed and established in order to assure a sustainable integration of the new techniques into a standard portfolio of analytical methods.

Altogether, these measures will guarantee that the developed methods find their utmost application in real practice and thus efficiently contribute to food safety in Europe.

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