TRUEFOOD aims to improve quality and safety and introduce innovation into Traditional European Food production systems through research, demonstration, dissemination and training activities. Traditional Food Products intends to include not only protected and patented food, but also all regional and national products in cooking traditions. The project focuses on increasing value to both consumers and producers and on supporting the development of realistic business plans for all components of the food chain, using a fork to farm approach. The main strategic objectives are therefore to:
- Identify and quantify consumer perceptions, expectations and attitudes with respect to (a) safety and quality characteristics of traditional foods, and (b) innovations that could be introduced into the traditional food industry.
- Identify, evaluate and transfer into the industry innovations which guarantee food safety, especially with respect to microbiological and chemical hazards.
- Identify, evaluate and transfer into the industry innovations which improve the nutritional quality, while at the same time maintaining or improving other quality characteristics recognised by traditional food consumers (e.g. sensory, environmental, animal welfare and ethical qualities).
- Support the marketing and supply chain development of traditional food products.
- Establish an effective and sustainable system of technology transfer of innovations (those developed within the TRUEFOOD projects and in other EU, national and industry funded R&D projects) into traditional food industry, focussing specifically to SMEs.
In work package 1 an internet-based consumer survey has been carried out in six European countries: Norway, Poland, Spain, Belgium, France and Italy. The survey resulted in a huge amount of information, which partners of WP1 are working on. Results show that the definition of traditional food products, based on the qualitative approach prior to WP1 was confirmed by the survey. Important elements in the definition are: Well-known, eaten by grandparents, frequently consumed, authentic
production process, authentic origin of raw material and authentic recipe. Attributes that were positively associated with traditional food in all six countries were "good quality", "good taste", "safety" and "a positive nutritional value".
In work package 4 a non-destructive method has been developed for fat distributional analysis in salmon fillets using a non-contact NIR interactance-imaging instrument (penetration depth around 2 cm). This equipment can improve the salmon fillets classification before processing.