From Farm to Fork
VIVALDI and NextGen Proteins, two projects with Israeli partners, are leading the way in the European response to the growing challenge of food production by studying food disease and alternative proteins as possible solutions for a more sustainable food system
Global warming, a growing population and changing consumption patterns are straining the food production system. Producing safe, nutritious and high-quality food must be balanced with minimum impact on nature. The EU budget for 2021-2027 has given high preference to climate objectives and in spring 2020, the Commission will present a 'Farm to Fork' Strategy to provide Europeans with affordable and sustainable food while protecting the environment, preserving biodiversity, and increasing organic farming.
'Farm to Fork' will also significantly reduce the dependency on dangerous chemical pesticides and antibiotics by developing innovative farming and fishing techniques that protect harvest from pests and diseases, help combat food fraud through coordination with Member States and non-EU countries and contribute to a circular economy – from production to consumption.
Healthier Bivalves, Healthier Shellfish
Shellfish disease, one of the most potent food-based health threats, is caused by pathogens – biological agents that cause disease or illness to its host. The EU-funded project VIVALDI, which focuses on farmed bivalves, is shedding new light on pathogens, designing new techniques for their detection, conducting breeding programs to produce more resistant bivalves and proposing innovative disease control solutions, all aimed at increasing the sustainability and competitiveness of the European shellfish industry.
VIVALDI dissects the disease mechanisms associated with pathogen virulence and pathogenesis and host immune responses, develops in vivo and in vitro models, and applies “omic” approaches that will help the development of diagnostic tools and drugs against pathogen targets. Employing a global shellfish health approach which recognizes that cultured bivalves are often exposed to several pathogens simultaneously, the proposal will also investigate advantages and risks of the use of disease-resistant selected animals in order to improve consumer confidence and safety.
Further innovations proposed by VIVALDI include sensors to detect the presence of pathogens in the water instead of in the molluscs themselves and development of a risk-ranking tool that estimates the likelihood of pathogens being introduced or disseminated in a specific location. The project will not only increase food safety but, as Ytzhak (Itzik) Rozenberg, CTO of Atlantium, the consortium's only commercial entity explains, also contribute towards the Green Deal's strategy regarding food production: "We were happy to be part of the European effort to invest more in initiatives aimed at reducing environmental impact of food production, food from the sea, and specifically shellfish enabling more efficient and cleaner farming than cattle and other food sources."
Project Acronym: VIVALDI
Grant agreement ID: 678589
EU contribution: € 4,503,082.50
Start date: 1 March 2016; End date: 29 February 2020
Topic(s): SFS-10b-2015 - Scientific basis and tools for preventing and mitigating farmed mollusc diseases
Call for proposal: H2020-SFS-2015-2
Coordinator: Institut français de recherche pour l'exploitation de la mer (France)
Israeli participant: Atlantium Technologies Ltd
> CORDIS link
> EC Success Story
The European Commission's 'Farm to Fork' Strategy is meeting the challenge of producing safe, nutritious and high-quality food and animal feed while ensuring minimum impact on nature
Next Generation Proteins
With estimates that food and feed production will have to double by 2050, the Israeli company 'Algaennovation' is participating in the EU-funded NetGenProteins Consortium which is striving to meet the growing needs of farmers, producers and consumers alike. In response to the problems of current protein production, both animal- and vegetal-based, such as severe negative environmental impacts in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, land and water use, and biodiversity loss, NextGenProteins has identified microalgae, single cell protein and insects as promising sources of alternative proteins. Realizing that proteins can be produced through innovative and environmentally sustainable bioconversion processes using industrial waste streams, thereby causing limited environmental impact, NextGenProteins will help to strengthen food security, sustainability and self-sufficiency of EU protein production.
As Dr. Isaac Berzin, CTO of Algaennovation and responsible for the project's micro-algae development explains "Europe is now facing food production issues independent of any climate change issues similar to those we have faced in Israel for decades. The growing population is placing a burden on existing food sources and we are contributing our technological knowledge and experience to help the EU meet this challenge."
Through collaboration between industry and RTD, the project will address key barriers that currently prohibit or limit the application of the three alternative proteins in food and feed, such as production scalability and optimization, production costs, value chain risks, safety, regulations and consumer trust and acceptance. The project will contribute to strengthening food security, sustainability and self-sufficiency of EU protein production with future-proof supply, as well as long-term reduction of land use, water use, GHG emissions and energy of EU food sector.
Project Acronym: NextGenProteins
Grant agreement: 862704
EU contribution: € 7,985,149.77
Start date: 1 October 2019; End date: 30 September 2023
Topic(s): LC-SFS-17-2019 - Alternative proteins for food and feed
Call for proposal: H2020-SFS-2019-1
Coordinator: Matis OHF (Iceland)
Israeli participant: Algaennovation Ltd
> CORDIS link