Oleica participates as a strategic partner in the MEDIFIT project, financed by PRIMA (Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area).
Food fraud, including adulteration for economic purposes, is an increasing risk to public health as it can threaten consumer welfare and undermine confidence in the global food market. The impact of fraud may be even greater for traditional food products of Mediterranean origin, as they are generally recognised for their high nutritional and sensory value. Recent examples have been seen in products such as honey and cheeses, where numerous attempts have been made to remove information on the origin of raw materials or production areas in order to reduce traceability control, thus distorting markets and misleading consumers.
Oleica will be a strategic partner of the MEDIFIT project entitled “An interlinked digital platform for Food Integrity and Traceability of relevant MEDIterranean supply chains,” which was recently funded by the Consortium for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area (PRIMA). The research project is coordinated by Prof. Konstantinos Koutsoumanis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece) and also involves companies and research organisations from Germany, Turkey, Malta, Tunisia and Spain (University of Cordoba and Oleica). ). Its overall objective is to monitor the traceability and authenticity of traditional Mediterranean foods using advanced analytical and software technologies. The focus will be on two Mediterranean products with high added value, honey and cheese, which have significant nutritional value and are important for biodiversity conservation. . MEDIFIT will be implemented using a flexible, modular and standardised software framework that provides end-users with the necessary communication interfaces and web-based software solutions to facilitate the routine use of innovative analytical methods for assessing food traceability and integrity. In addition, MEDIFIT will develop Decision Support Systems (DSS) that will be linked to a virtual Authenticity and Traceability Data Platform (ATDP) that will provide access to decentralised food integrity and traceability information repositories. A key aspect of MEDIFIT will be to raise awareness of this platform among end-users and to organise training courses for companies and stakeholders that will facilitate optimal decision-making with regard to food safety, quality, authenticity and traceability.