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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
(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.
(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:
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