Project: Fast methods for authentication of organic plant based foods

The AuthenticFood project aims In AuthenticFood a portfolio of the most promising analytical methods, markers and concepts will be tested for their ability to authenticate organic plant products. The aims are to provide the tools that will ultimately give confidence to consumers by revealing fraudulent substitution of organic with conventionally cultivated products and consequently to promote organic food through assured authenticity. The market shares for organic products have continuously grown over the last decade even though organic products are being sold at premium prices compared to conventional ones. However, recently there have been a growing number of reported cases, where conventional food products were mislabelled and fraudulently sold as organic. Consequently, there is an urgent need for development and validation of analytical methods, which allow discrimination between organic and conventional food products. Background There is an ever-increasing consumer demand for foods of local origin or food cultivated by organic farming practices. However, the organic sector is becoming increasingly dominated by corporate players that may not share some of the less tangible benefits of the organic philosophy. This places an increased burden on certification/inspection bodies and traceability systems on which the authenticity of the organic produce depends. Thus, to assure the authenticity of foods marketed and labelled as "organic", there is a need for robust, accurate and validated analytical control methods. Benefits of the project The analytical methods developed in AuthenticFood will be tested on plant samples from rigorously controlled long-term field trials as well as on unprocessed and processed samples from organic and conventional farmers. This will minimize the gap between science and "real life" and thereby ensure a rapid application of the developed methods. The organic sector in general can therefore benefit from this within a short time scale. Consumers are ensured that products labelled as organic have been produced according to the labelling claims while certification and control bodies are given new tools for revealing fraud and mistakes. Thereby trustworthiness of organic produce is retained which will strongly support the sustainability of the organic sector in EU. Expected results It is expected that AuthenticFood will deliver valuable inputs to the scientific community regarding development of novel analytical techniques. Due to the involvement of 16 partners from 11 European countries, the project offers a unique possibility to exchange scientists amongst research groups and thereby update and improve their individual analytical skills. AuthenticFood will presumably attract BSc and MSc students and thereby have an educational impact. As organic food production is of great interest to the public, AuthenticFood will inevitably have a policy oriented impact as well. Ultimately, AuthenticFood will provide novel analytical tools for authentication of organic plant products and will thereby ensure that the trustworthiness of organic produce is retained and that the organic sector will continuously grow despite recent cases of fraud.

Acronym AuthenticFood
Duration 01/10/2011 - 01/06/2014
Website visit project website
Network CORE Organic II
Call First call of CORE Organic II

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 University of Copenhagen - Faculty of Life Sciences Coordinator Denmark
2 Associazione Italiana per l'Agricoltura Biologica Partner Italy
3 Edmund Mach Foundation Partner Italy
4 Food and Environment Research Agency Partner United Kingdom
5 Technical University of Denmark Partner Denmark
6 Eurofins Analytics France Partner France
7 Institute of Chemical Technology, Prague Partner Czech Republic
8 Wageningen University & Research - RIKILT Institute of Food Safety Partner Netherlands
9 University of Luxemborg Partner Luxembourg
10 Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research Partner Norway
11 University of Kassel Partner Germany
12 Ecocert Partner France
13 University of Helsinki Partner Finland
14 Lithuanian Institute of Agrarian Economics Partner Lithuania
15 Bios Partner Italy
16 Danish Veterinary and Food Administration Partner Denmark