A Technology- and Market-driven Innovation e-Toolbox towards a Sustainable, Competitive and Science-based Agri-Food Industry in Norway
Teaming up with key industry and market players, iNOBox main goal is to integrate in the Norwegian food industry more efficient, profitable and sustainable processing, securing the supply of safe, high-quality and nutritious foods.
|Time:||1. April 2018 – 31. March 2022|
|Financed by:||The Research Council of Norway|
|In cooperation with:||Nofima (NO), Veterinærinstituttet (NO), Østfoldforskning (NO), University of Liverpool (UK), Campden BRI (Chipping Campden) Limited (UK), Universidad de Zaragoza (ES), TNO (NL), BAMA Gruppen AS (NO), Den Stolte Hane AS (NO), Findus Norge AS (NO), Fjordkjøkken AS (NO), Fjordland AS (NO), HOFF AS (NO), MatBørsen AS (NO), Advanced Microwave Technologies Ltd (UK), Elea Gmbh (DE), Hiperbaric SA (ES/US), UV Technology Ltd (UK)|
With food security set high on the socio-political agenda, innovative food processing technologies can help to meet the demand of sustainable and affordable healthy diets for a growing and aging population.
Safer and healthier foods resulting from innovative processing will improve the public health system through reduced prevalence of food allergy, diet-related diseases, food recalls and associated health/social costs.
Economical, social and environmental impact
The Norwegian food industry is challenged by a stringent environmental policy, pressure on food self-sufficiency/security, domestic market competition, new consumption patterns & low R&D expenditure stifling innovation. iNOBox represents a joint multi-actor effort towards more efficient, profitable & sustainable processing, securing the supply of safe, high-quality & nutritious foods.
iNOBox proposes 5 market-driven business solutions with broad transferability that integrate innovative processing technologies (IPT) across relevant agri-food chains. iNOBox will greatly advance cross-disciplinary knowledge base on IPT and pave the way towards market & consumer uptake. Ultimately, iNOBox will develop an innovation e-toolbox to support IPT end-users/manufacturers on scientific, technical & regulatory matters, consumer-centric process innovation opportunities & marketing strategies.
Through whole value-chain interventions, resource-efficient IPT will foster:
- Environmental, economic & social sustainability towards a circular bioeconomy: better self-sufficiency, cost optimisation; 1.5-5% energy saving in the whole sector; 0.1% GHG emission reduction in Norway, 438 MNOK/yr consumer savings (food waste) for each extra day’s shelf-life
- Fast-growing productivity, long-term profitability & competitiveness
- Better employability of a high-skilled workforce in decentralised areas.
- Safer & healthier IPT foods will lead to new market shares & social innovation (allergy, health promotion) and will improve the public health system through reduced prevalence of food allergy/diet-related diseases, food recalls & associated health/social costs, while contributing to food security for a growing/ageing population.
iNOBox will foster international responsible research & innovation, multi-actor & public engagement, science education, open knowledge sharing and gender/ethical integrity, towards better decision-making on sustainable process innovation & enhanced know-how/technology transfer.
Through cross-disciplinary research, iNOBox will greatly advance the current knowledge on innovative technologies, such as cold plasma, pulsed electric fields, ultrasounds, UV-light, high-pressure processing and microwaves.
Consumers will also benefit from reduced food waste through the extended shelf-life of innovative foods (438 MNOK/yr savings for each extra day of shelf-life). iNOBox outcomes will foster energy savings in the food sector (1.5-5%), reduced gas emissions (0.1% on national level) and high-skilled jobs in decentralised areas.
To ensure the successful implementation of innovative processes, food producers must be aware of their benefits (and how to communicate them to the consumers), their suitability for different products/applications, as well as scientific, technical and regulatory aspects.
iNOBox aims to develop a web-based innovation toolbox to help food industry make informed decisions on process innovation, overcome bottlenecks to market and ensure innovative products reach the consumers. The e-toolbox will be built upon durable projects outputs and external data sources, enabling effective knowledge sharing of iNOBox outcomes.
Led by Nofima, the iNOBox team includes (inter)national research/industry partners and will provide unique training opportunities to young scientists (2 PhDs and 2 Postdocs).
Progress and preliminary results
- Organisation of the 2019 consortium meeting and 4 management committee & 4 partner calls. Management & Exploitation Tool ready (to be reviewed in Q4 2019). Presentation at Bionær dagen (NFR) & DIL-ELEA, DE. Preparation of the 2018 & 2019 progress reports.
- Feedback on online industry questionnaire as input for the design of technological solutions (TS).
- PhD researcher (Stéphane Simon) at the University of Liverpool since Jan 2019. SOPs for chemical analysis of PAW set up. Effect of water temperature & composition on PAW assessed (2 draft manuscripts). Design for a large-scale PAW reactor ready. PAW trials on fresh produce run at Nofima with UniLiv small-scale reactor (2 conference presentations; draft manuscript). Research stay at ELEA, DE (draft manuscript). 1 MSc student (UiS) in 2019-2020
- Literature review on UV-C treatment of meat products, and UV-C transmission & migration testing on meat packaging materials concluded. UV-C meat decontamination trials (sourced top sided beef & skinless chicken) ongoing (inoculation method & UV-C dosage to be optimised)
- Postdoctoral researcher (Tem Dang) at Nofima since Oct 2018. Study on HPP & MW (incl. modified atmosphere packaging & soluble gas pre-stabilisation) for preservation of cooked chicken concluded (draft manuscript). Chicken samples ready for WP4-5 analysis. Egg trials in preparation. Agreement with AMT on the placement of the in-flow MW system at Nofima in Q1-2 2020
- PhD researcher (Leire Astráin) at the University of Zaragoza since Sept 2019. PEF chamber & US prototype built up. Study on PEF & US for meat drying/freezing/thawing concluded (submitted manuscript; 2 conference presentations). Meat/egg samples ready for WP4-5 analysis. 1 MSc thesis & 2 BSc thesis in 2019
- Literature review, SOP & concept-note (Validé – Milestone project) on combined HPP/US for yoghurt manufacture ready. 2 MSc students (UiS & NTNU) in 2019-2020. Research stay at TUMSAT, JP (presentation on iNOBox; draft manuscript)
- Living report developed by WP2-3 partners towards harmonisation of microbiological/quality criteria & SOPs for TS1-6
- Postdoctoral researcher (Oscar Rangel) at the Veterinary Institute since April 2019. Literature review & extraction trials for metabolomics on WP2 chicken samples. Untargeted analysis of chicken (TS3-5) & egg (TS4-5) samples in Q4 2019. Presentation at Teknologisk Matforum
- In vitro & SEC (peptide size) protein digestibility analysis of chicken samples (TS3-4). Bioaccessibility of bioactives & protein digestibility of chicken (TS5) & egg (TS4-5) samples to be determined in Q4 2019
- Harmonisation approaches for environmental life cycle assessment (E-LCA) & social LCA (S-LCA) adapted to WP2 TS. Literature review of E-LCA related to WP2 TS, database assessment of S-LCA challenges linked to NO food production and a summary of data gaps/collection & stakeholders
- Design of consumer survey & Marketing Communication Decision Support Tool [dialogue with WP9 on its inclusion in the toolbox] based on literature review & WP2-8 feedback. Survey conducted by YouGov (tender) upon agreement on GDPR & data management, and ongoing analysis of full dataset (1200 NO consumers)
- Interviews (10 companies) on the impact of novel food regulation on openness & innovation. Workshop (35 participants) in March 2019, resulting in better understanding of IPTs and co-creation of 80 ideas for future implementation. 3 papers presented at international conferences
- Regular updates of website/social media, 2 six-monthly newsletters & updated dissemination plan. Contract with Bouvet for toolbox development (tender), workshop/interviews (consortium) in March 2019, inventory list ready and user testing of navigational sketches. Graphical sketches & programming in Q4 2019
Project partners have presented the project and its progress to cross-diciplinary target groups, including end users.