The Integrated Project TRACEBACK was a major EU project providing integrated food chain traceability solutions to food industry. For four years, 27 partners active in food research and the food industry throughout Europe have teamed up with two from Egypt and Turkey, plus relevant SMEs, to develop and demonstrate a new tool based on traceability extended to food safety and quality for connecting food chain players and ensure food chain integrity. One of the most important objectives of TRACEBACK was to analyze and to define the food chains and identifying weak and sensitive points in the chains where there are risks for contamination or loss in quality of the final product.
Within the TRACEBACK project, IASP had to study feed-dairy food chains considering the factors inherent to the influence area and parameters including types of products, type of production and scope of distribution. In cooperation with ainia Technological Centre (Valencia, Spain), a methodology was set on how to study the selected food chains, and documents were prepared as internal deliverables regarding product description, general types of production of these food chains, the legal and non regulatory framework governing them. Graphical models of feed-dairy chains representing the main food players were made. This was complemented with the analysis and description of roles of each food player and its interactions with other players in the chain, concerning the data to share among food players as a key point for traceability. The analysis of food chain configurations was carried out in the different influence areas of each partner doing interviews to representative food players. IASP´s feed-dairy food chain analysis information led to internal deliverables and served as input to linked work packages of TRACEBACK.
With the scientific and technological results of TRACEBACK, a new concept is introduced: "Food Chain Integrity" is the capacity of an entire food chain to perform its expected function without deliberate or unintended malfunction. Food chains with such integrity characteristics will be transparent, sustainable, competitive and certifiable. They will assure safety to the European citizen and will document product quality on the markets. Food Chain Integrity will represent a unique occasion for a European-led certification, provided that new tools will be developed for its deployment in food industry. In order to support the development of Food Chain Integrity, the following scientific and technological research actions need to be taken with urgency by the Agrifood Research and Innovation Policy Makers in Europe: (1) Governing the emerging complexity towards food chain integrity; (2) Assuring the desired food safety and quality along the entire food chain; (3) Preventing intentional and unintended criticalities in the food chain.
Europäische Kommission, 6. Forschungs-Rahmenprogramm (Integrated Project)
28 Forschungseinrichtungen und Unternehmen aus der Europäischen Union sowie aus Ägypten und aus der Türkei
Dr. Stefan Köhler