Start date: Jun 30, 2011,
End date: Jun 29, 2014
The MeCagr02 Project brings together an important network of academic partners involved in research and the transfer of technologies related to food processing.The project will ultimately result in the creation of a shared laboratory facility to find answers to the research, innovation and competition issues faced by food companies in the 2 Seas area, while improving health, nutrition and food safety for residents and consumers.The project will make great steps towards allowing industries such as agriculture and aquaculture to be major exponents of bio-economic growth and MeCagrO2 will enable the development of alternative and breakthrough solutions in terms of products, processes and working conditions in these sectors. This development will be sustainable, which means limiting the environmental footprint of food processing and developing innovative applications for any by-products derived from the processes related to food production. Expected Results: What are the key results of the project?Activity 1 : natural preservationDevelopment of analysis - techniques : the actions carried out will make space for the establishment of activity reports about the technical mastery of the cold chain and the thermal treatment processes, natural extraction of food ingredients and additives and the alternative biological solutions for the present chemical processes in food stabilization.Activity 2 : Extraction/fractionazing/coolingDevelopment of analysis - techniques (control and test samples) : the actions carried out will make space for the establishment of activity reports about CO2 emissions and the environmental footprint of selected food-industry processes and about the methods and processes allowing for the development of co-products or by-products.- Report about the development of food co-products and by-products in non-food applications.- New mehodologies for the metrics of food wastes and carbon footprint impact in food industry- new methodologies for characterization of life cycle assessment for industrial food processes- Evaluation of possible new processes at a laboratory scale and evaluation of the pertinence of the imagined solutionsActivity 3 : ergonomics- Laboratory for the evaluation of ergonomic work conditions- Specifications corresponding to some identified positions of human intervention which describe a secure and ergonomic process to apply in order to ensure the experts' well-being while guaranteeing the conditions of health, quality, and safety for foodstuff products and the sustainability of surrounding materials.- Evaluation of these specifications or modus operandi in order to expand to other work stations.Are all partners and territories benefitting from the results?The expected value added is the ability to have specialists from different fields work together by mobilizing them around the same problem. The shared work time is thus planned on one hand in order to increase the pertinence of the suggested solutions by making each person step out of his usual thinking zone, and on the other hand to reinforce the synergy between the teams from each university. The running of the created laboratory will rely on the staff made available by each partner to ensure the daily work. The first phase is the creation of a common laboratory, which includes the creation of a technological platform. The necessary material means for equipping this platform will be bought in the framework of the project and physically pooled in the same laboratory. This project constitutes a first step in the construction of a multinational research cooperation based on the themes that will be honed and confirmed through this project based on people and equipments from all partners promoting synergies.The acquired equipment will be stationed mainly in Lille, but supplementary equipment for completing existing plants in Ghent and Exeter in order to optimize their use in the framework of the meCagrO2 project is foreseen. An agreement will arrange the operational framework.What are the effects / outcomes for the territories involved?The meCagrO2's project was approved by the NSL commitee, the Aquimer cluster recently, supported by the VLAV in Flanders is by the way considered as a structuring project for the crossborder area. This laboratory will position itself upstream from these structures and will work in close collaboration with them so that they may fully play their downstream part of transferring new knowledge from research programmes towards industry. The NSL cluster is developing a 'purifunction' technological platform dedicated to extraction processes. This platform will be based on applied research and will be reinforced by a research theme set specific to extraction processes at the heart of the meCagrO2 project.Mecagro2 aims at filling this gap by research investment. It will encourage links to the UK Sustainability KTN (Knowledge Transfer Networks) and the Food Chain Sustainability Special Interest Group at the National Institute for Research.To facilitate interaction with agro-food companies, a partnership with the Centre for Rural Policy Research (CPRR) will be promoted.
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