Press Releases

 

2014-06-28:

Quality Assurance and Safety of Crops & Foods (QAS)

The QAS volume 6, issue 3 (September 2014) is now available and features a special issue on "Food Chemistry and Safety". Edited by Hamit Köksel and Vural Gökmen, both from Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey, the presented research papers were selected from invited presentations in association with the EuroFoodChem XVII conference, which took place 7-10 May 2013 in Istanbul, Turkey. The included papers encompass the latest research trends and findings on the emerging topics of food chemistry and safety. The 10 papers included in this special issue were selected from the papers recommended through an external peer-review process.

The papers in this special issue describe the recent advancements on analytical methodologies for the determination of nanomaterials in complex samples, safety assessment of engineered metallic nanoparticles in foods, performance of multiplex dipstick immunoassay for screening mycotoxins in cereals, analytical challenges in food chemistry proficiency tests, application of e-nose technique for food quality control using novel oligopeptides based materials, and evaluation of safety risks in thermal processing of foods considering processing contaminants such as acrylamide. In addition, some papers describe also the production and characterization of resistant starch and its utilization as food ingredient, thermolysis products of potato starch as potential prebiotics, and anovel cereal fiber drink as a tool for prevention of civilisation disease.

We are pleased to present this special issue to the readers of Quality Assurance and Safety of Crops & Foods journal and food chemistry community worldwide, and hope that it accomplishes our goal of highlighting outstanding recent advances in the field of food chemistry. At the same time we can be looking forward to the next EuroFoodChem XVIII conference in Madrid, Spain, 13-16 October 2015.

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2014-05-12:

Vienna, 12 May 2014. An EU-funded research project is shining a spotlight on the benefits, risks and quality of botanicals. Some 30 international research groups worked in a multi-disciplinary consortium to investigate whether botanicals available as drops, capsules, lozenges, tablets and pills, for example, truly deliver on what they promise. The PlantLIBRA research project started in 2010 and ends in May this year. Some 110 experts from over 30 countries participate in the wrap-up event in Vienna, 12-14 May 2014 (plantlibra2014.icc.or.at). The event is managed by ICC, which is also a consortium partner in this EU funded project (www.icc.or.at/projects/plantlibra).

The 25 nations involved in the "PlantLIBRA" research project all pursued the same goal: to record the benefits and risks of botanicals and test the quality of the products available on the market. The experts involved also compiled a database that will make it easier for the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and other national authorities to assess botanicals.

Testing potency and toxicity

Botanicals, available as capsules, lozenges, tablets, pills and other similar dosage forms, are legally defined as foodstuffs and therefore subject to less stringent regulations than pharmaceuticals. Whether they offer any benefits, or may even pose risks, to consumers is the subject of the EU project that investigated a range of selected samples. "Whether a product actually contains the plant advertised on the package has not been tested in many cases. And it often takes a liability suit before we find out whether the active ingredients in a botanical product are effective or perhaps even poisonous" reports work package leader and Professor Emeritus at the Vetmeduni Vienna, Chlodwig Franz. The goal of this EU project was to shed light on this grey area. Various methods were developed and tested to anaylse the quality and safety of botanicals that are used in food supplements, including DNA analysis techniques that allow the exact identification of the plants used.

European products exceeded expectations

The researchers examined different products from all over Europe that contained passion flower, devil's claw, melissa, chamomile, valerian, calendula and ribwort. According to researcher Silvia Sponza: "All the European products we examined, including teas, pills, drops, powders and ointments, did in fact contain what was listed on the packaging. And the quality of the active ingredients was even on par with the quality standards that apply to pharmaceuticals."

The scientists also drew up a list of analytical laboratories in Europe, an important resource for the industry. This will make it much easier for botanicals manufacturers to select a competent lab to run analyses on their products.

Interviews with experts

The PlantLIBRA final conference is held in Vienna from 12-14 May 2014. Study research partners and representatives from the industry are in attendance. Various experts, including the Coordinator, Professor Patrizia Restani from the University of Milan (Italy), are available during the event at the Hotel Stefanie (Taborstraße 12, 1020 Vienna) for interviews. Please view the full programme at plantlibra2014.icc.or.at/programme and please feel free to contact us for an appointment at office [at] icc [dot] or [dot] at.

 

2013-03-06:

Some 200 participants from some 40 countries attended the 4th MoniQA International Conference in Budapest, Hungary. The main focus of the conference was "Food Safety under Global Pressure of Climate Change, Food Security and Economic Crises".

Emerging issues and the various aspects of the interrelation between food safety, food security, economy development and globalization were presented and discussed in some 80 oral presentations in 20 technical sessions and close to 80 posters. The 6 keynote speakers at the start and at the end of the conference embedded the conference topics in both a global picture of the current situation as well as gave an expert glimpse into the future. We were proud to have had the following keynote speakers with us:

  • Franz Fischler, president of the European Alpbach Forum and former European Union's Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, Austria
    "Impacts of economic crises on food markets and how to make the food production sector sustainable"
  • Vish Prakash, Distinguished Scientist of CSIR - India, President ISNNAN, India
    "A sustainable nutrition security through a food security for health and wellness in developing countries by adaptable, accessible and affordable food technologies"
  • Eleonora Dupouy, Food Safety and Consumer Protection Officer Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, FAO, Hungary
    "Safe food supply in a globalized world: a sustainable development perspective"
  • Elke Anklam, Director, Institute for Health and Consumer Protection, Joint Research Center, ISPRA, Italy
    "Emerging food safety risks and global trade"
  • Frans Verstraete, DG SANCO, Belgium
    "Regulating for emerging food safety concerns as regards mycotoxins and phytotoxins"
  • Dieter Brigitta, European Commission, DG Research & Innovation, Belgium
    "Horizon 2020 – Future Research for a Safe, Secure and Nutritious Food Supply"

In various pre-conference workshops, young scientists and professionals were able to get in-depth insight and training in various food safety management and risk communication aspects as well as hands-on training in food safety analytical methods. The Young Scientist Forum and a Best Poster Awarding session offered opportunities to present new and ongoing research work. MoniQA would like to congratulate the winners of the 3 Best Poster Awards: Olivia Csernus, Central Environmental and Food Science Research Institute, Hungary, Isabel Mafra, ICETA, Portugal and Ljiljia Torovic, Institute of Public Health of Vojvodina, Serbia which were sponsored by the organisers of the conference MoniQA Association (www.moniqa.org), based in Vienna, Austria, and Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME), Hungary together with QAS Quality Assurance and Safety of Crops & Foods, the official media partner of the conference.

The 5th MoniQA International Conference will be held in Porto, Portugal and will be organised by the MoniQA Association together with the MoniQA Association member ICETA - "Instituto de Ciências e Tecnologias Agrárias e Agro-Alimentares da Universidade do Porto".

We look forward to meeting you in Porto in 2015!

Prof. Dr. Roland E. Poms
Secretary General MoniQA Association

 

2012-12-18:

14 December 2012, Wageningen

Wageningen Academic Publishers is pleased to announce the collaboration with ICC and MoniQA for publishing 'Quality Assurance and Safety of Crops & Foods (QAS)'. This international journal was previously published by Wiley Blackwell. The journal will be published by Wageningen Academic Publishers starting in 2013 with Volume 5. The journal transfer will ensure further growth and continued delivery of high-quality content.

Mike Jacobs, Managing Director at Wageningen Academic Publishers, said, "We are delighted to add 'Quality Assurance and Safety of Crops & Foods' to our portfolio. It ties in nicely with the food and feed titles that we have published for years. It is our aim to use our experience in this topic and our personal approach to re-launch the journal. Together with our motivated editors we look forward to expanding the journal's reach and readership."

In the new setting Dr. Roland Poms (ICC) and Stanley Cauvain (BakeTran, UK), are the editors-in-chief. Both editors were already involved with 'Quality Assurance and Safety of Crops & Foods' before the transition.

Being asked for his opinion on the journal transfer, Roland Poms replied "The acquisition by Wageningen Academic Publishers is an exciting development in the life of QAS and I am convinced that this new collaboration with WAP will be most beneficial to the growing success of this international journal, which received ISI rating already in the first few years of its existence. QAS will perfectly complement the range of journal titles published by WAP and thus synergies in promotion of the journal and in increasing impact of the published articles will help strengthen QAS' position. As co-editor-in-chief I am looking forward to working with this energetic and enthusiastic team at WAP."

About 'Quality Assurance and Safety of Crops & Foods'

'Quality Assurance and Safety of Crops & Foods' publishes papers from around the globe with the major focus on analytical tools for assuring quality and safety, traceability and authenticity, food security, and technologies associated with harvesting, storing, processing and manufacturing of cereals, crops and derived foods and feeds, refined products and ingredients. The scope of publications will also cover other disciplines related to food and feed quality and safety, such as legal requirements, regulations, socio-economic impact, globalisation and trade, international organisations and agreements. The journal is internationally recognised, indexed by ISI Web of Science, peer reviewed and supported by an international editorial board. For more information, please visit the website: www.wageningenacademic.com/qas.

About Wageningen Academic Publishers

Wageningen Academic Publishers is an independent publishing company in the field of Life Sciences. It publishes journals as well as books. Wageningen Academic Publishers is one of the few STM publishers that do not only offer the option of Open Access publishing for journals, but also for books. For more information, please refer to the website: www.wageningenacademic.com.

About ICC

ICC is the pre-eminent international association in the field of cereal science and technology, committed to international cooperation through the dissemination of knowledge, conducting research, and developing standard methods that contribute to improved food quality, food safety and food security for the health and well-being of all people.

About MoniQA

MoniQA (International Association for Monitoring and Quality Assurance in the Total Food Supply Chain) is an international and interdisciplinary network of professionals from institutions working in food research, regulatory bodies and trade, providing solutions to promote a safer and secure food supply worldwide. MoniQA facilitates international research collaborations to enable services and products for food safety & quality assurance, progress and validation of analytical methods, training and continuous professional development, consultancy and socio-economic impact assessment.

Media contact

E-mail: qas [at] wageningenacademic [dot] com
Phone: +31 317 476516

 

2012-02-15:

Brussels, 13 February 2012 – The European Commission has today adopted a strategy to shift the European economy towards greater and more sustainable use of renewable resources. With the world population approaching 9 billion by 2050 and natural resources finite, Europe needs renewable biological resources for secure and healthy food and feed, as well as for materials, energy, and other products. The Commission's strategy and action plan, “Innovating for Sustainable Growth: a Bioeconomy for Europe”, outlines a coherent, cross-sectoral and inter-disciplinary approach to the issue. The goal is a more innovative and low-emissions economy, reconciling demands for sustainable agriculture and fisheries, food security, and the sustainable use of renewable biological resources for industrial purposes, while ensuring biodiversity and environmental protection. The plan therefore focuses on three key aspects: developing new technologies and processes for the bioeconomy; developing markets and competitiveness in bioeconomy sectors; and pushing policymakers and stakeholders to work more closely together.

More info: http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/12/124&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

 

2011-10-12:

(Vienna, October 12, 2011) The 3rd MoniQA International Conference (September 27-29, Varna, Bulgaria) brought together more than 150 participants from around the globe to discuss food safety issues and their impact on the consumer. The event also hosted the official launch event of the MoniQA Association, a non-profit-distributing organisation dedicated to collaborative research promoting a more secure and safer food supply.

The 3rd MoniQA International Conference, held in Varna, Bulgaria (September 27-29, 2011) brought together more than 150 international stakeholders from research, industry, authorities and consumer representatives to discuss “food safety and consumer protection”. Sessions focused on risk, understanding and choice, food safety, food security and climate change, socio-economic impact of food safety regulations, allergens, emerging issues in food (such as nanotechnology) chemical contaminants and mycotoxins, research undertaken by young MoniQA scientists and food safety education curricula around the globe; all under the umbrella of the impact on consumers.

The conference also hosted the official launch event of the new MoniQA Association, a non-profit-distributing organisation dedicated to collaborative research promoting a more secure and safer food supply, which will continue the activities of the project. In early August 2011 the association was incorporated as a non profit association (a so-called “Verein”) under Austrian law. Since then, most of the partners of the distributing original MoniQA Network of Excellence consortium (2007-2012) have joined the MoniQA Association and several new members have joined the Association prior to its first MoniQA Association General Assembly, which took place in Varna on 29 September 2011. To date nearly 40 institutions from 18 countries from 5 continents have become members of the MoniQA Association.

The 3rd MoniQA International Conference featured a wide array of speakers from food safety researchers, socio-economists, regulators, representatives from food industry and retail as well as consumer representatives from around the globe.  The event follows up on earlier, highly-successful MoniQA Conferences in Rome (2008) and Krakow (2010) with inter- and cross-disciplinary activities bridging the concerns of citizens, food science and the European economy.

The conference included table-top sessions with hands-on demonstration showcasing MoniQA activities and results. A poster session highlighted selected scientific research, with a poster award ceremony at the closing ceremony of the conference. The poster prizes were awarded to: (1st) Sine Yener (HCTU, TR) for Evaluation of a commercial ELISA assay for the detection of yellow mustard in food matrices and performance characteristics; (2nd) Dorota Piasecka-Kwiatkowska (NFNI, PL) for Gluten contents in beer and consumer awareness in Poland; and (3rd) Chen Jinyao (SCU, CN) for The status and challenges of toxicological evaluation of several Chinese herbs.

Other EU-funded projects, such as Veg-i-Trade, also contributed to the scientific content of the conference. 

More information:

Slides and conference pictures are available on the conference website at http://varna2011.moniqa.org/

For more information about the new MoniQA Association please visit http://association.moniqa.org/

 

2011-09-05:

(Vienna, 5 September 2011) The EU funded MoniQA project is a very successful Network of Excellence which involves experts from around the globe working for safer foods by harmonising worldwide food quality and safety monitoring and control strategies. With EU funding ending on 31 January 2012, the work will continue through the newly set-up MoniQA Association, membership of which is open to all organisations with a commitment to food safety and security. 

The MoniQA Association is dedicated to international collaboration and research aimed at promoting a more secure and safer food supply, its activities include:

  • Promoting the harmonisation of analytical approaches involved in food safety and quality
  • Improving the knowledge-based bio economy through participation in relevant research programmes and facilitating bilateral/ multinational research collaboration agreements
  • Providing the infrastructure for and establishing an international network for inter-laboratory validation trials for analytical methods and reference materials
  • Disseminating and providing access to validated and robust data and information for food safety through, for example, online databases
  • Sharing expertise and understanding through training courses, scientific conferences and symposia, international exchanges of researchers, technologists, engineers etc, expert consultancy,
  • Publication especially but not exclusively through Quality Assurance of Crops & Food, which is jointly offered by ICC, the MoniQA Association and Wiley-Blackwell

The Next Generation - Join Now!

Already over two thirds of the original consortium of 33 members and several MoniQA associate members have joined and we are delighted to invite all interested stakeholders to participate in our growing community as well (membership fee: 1000 € / year)  If you are interested in becoming a member, visit http://association.moniqa.org/.

Membership includes the following benefits:

  • Access to new expertise
  • Insight into new markets
  • Networking and interest representation
  • Training and CPD
  • Robust and validated information

We look forward to welcoming you becoming part of the next MoniQA Generation!

 

Dr. Roland E.Poms                                                                                        Dr. Anton J. Alldrick                     

MoniQA Association General Secretary                               MoniQA Association Interim President                                  

                                                               Mag. Daniel Spichtinger

                                               MoniQA Association Interim Vice-President        

 

Questions and comments?

Please contact Daniel Spichtinger at spichtinger [at] rtd-services [dot] com

Tel:  +43 1 3231000 -14  

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