Implementation of Nuclear Techniques to Improve Food Traceability

Closed for proposals

Project Type

Coordinated Research Project

Project Code

D52037

CRP

1763

Approved Date

4 May 2010

Status

Closed

Start Date

7 February 2011

Expected End Date

30 June 2017

Completed Date

7 February 2018

Description

Producing safe and high quality food is a prerequisite to ensure consumer health and successful domestic and international trade, and is critical to the sustainable development of national agricultural resources. Traceability systems play a key role in assuring food safety. Analytical techniques that enable the provenance of food to be determined provide an independent means of verifying “paper” traceability systems and also help to prove authenticity, to combat fraudulent practices, and to control adulteration, which are important issues for economic, religious or cultural reasons.
This coordinated research project (CRP) will address some of the challenges that developing countries are facing in ensuring food traceability. In particular, it will help laboratories in member states to establish robust analytical techniques to determine provenance of food through the assessment of the isotopic and elemental composition of foodstuffs using an integrated and multidisciplinary approach. The immediate benefit to laboratories will be the implementation and application of state-of-the-art nuclear measurement techniques to determine the provenance of foodstuffs. These will complement screening methods to detect residues and contaminants in food to provide holistic food safety systems.

Objectives

The overall objective of the CRP is to establish robust analytical techniques and databases to determine the provenance of food, using nuclear techniques such as isotope ratio analysis along with multi-element analysis and other complementary methods, for the verification of food traceability systems and claims related to food origin, production, and authenticity.

Specific objectives

2. Development of a sustainable database of isotopic composition and elemental concentrations obtained from authentic samples.

3. Development of a robust modelling system that enables contract holders to use their own data for interpretation of origin and verification of paper traceability or labelling claims.

The specific research objective is to help laboratories in developing countries implement a sustainable analytical tool that permits independent verification of paper based traceability systems for food commodities. This will be achieved through: 1. Implementation of existing and emerging analytical techniques to verify the traceability of food commodities, in response to food safety incidents and in accordance with national/international regulations and trade requirements.

Impact

Impact Assessment:

1) This CRP D52037 has successfully demonstrated the feasibility of using stable isotope and trace element (SITE) analysis combined with other Nuclear and related techniques to establish the geographical origin of food produced in developing Member States.

2) This CRP has successfully raised the awareness in Member States of SITE analysis and its applications to food traceability (production and geographical) and authenticity and its potential to reduce barriers to trade and enhance consumer confidence in products with a strong regional or national identity that support export markets.

3) This CRP has generated a significant number of food authenticity and traceability datasets for the first time.

4) This CRP has enhanced the member state capabilities in SITE analysis and has generated several new methods, SOPs, and training opportunities.

5) This CRP has facilitated further investment by the Member States in these SITE capabilities, and helped secure new funding.

6) This CRP has facilitated new scientific collaborations and involvement in national and international networks and food authenticity projects.

7) This CRP has raised awareness and allowed consortium members to interact with stakeholders and regulators within their respective Member States.

A summary of the outputs from the CRP are provided in the Table below. Nearly 100 outputs were achieved covering communication, training and studentships, awareness raising and establishing links with stakeholders such as industry, regulators and academia.

Table: Summary of outputs from CRP D52037 "Implementation of Nuclear Techniques to Improve Food Traceability Systems".
Output category//Country PRC(1) PRC(2) IND LEB MOR PAK SNG THA UGA Cat-total
Scientific journal publications 0 8 1 0 1 1* 2 3 0 16
Oral communications 1 3 1 0 7 0 3 4 0 19
Poster communications 0 4 0 0 0 0 2 4 0 10
PhD Studentships 3 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 6
MSc Studentships 2 3 0 0 3 2 2 0 0 12
Undergraduate projects 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0 0 6
New links to industry 1 0 0 1 2 1 0 0 1 6
New academic links 0 0 0 1 4 0 0 0 1 6
Standard Operating Procedures 1 3 3 1 2 1 1 1 2 15
Total by Member State(s) 9 22 7 4 20 4 17 11 4 98

* Still in preparation.

In general, the CRP objectives have been achieved with very good outputs. This includes:

1) Eighteen scientific publications.

2) Twenty four studentship trainings – Undergraduate projects, Masters, Mphil and PhD students as well as local researchers.

3) Regional to national authentic datasets in the commodities and/or food products, which in a large number of cases, were established for the first time.

4) Eighteen analytical Standard Operating Procedures, which included applied and adaptive research improvements and optimisations. For the first time new techniques have been developed within top scientific researchers and institutions outside CRP.

5) Statistical efforts to reach the best possible protocols and new models have been tested and validated.

6) Some adulteration tests in domestic market samples have been completed for the first time and the technology has been extended to new products.

7) In terms of implementation, the large majority of partners reached local governments and regulators for the first time and/or developed strategic plans for new analytical facilities.

8) New projects and collaborations have been established within the consortium and with other international research groups.

Relevance

Food origin is important for developing countries to reward national production efforts with recognition from external markets, since Geographical Indications (GIs) are a collective marketing term that can be used for both the protection and promotion of regional food products. A GI defines the production method and/or origin of a product where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the food is essentially attributable to its geographic origin or “terroir”. The benefits of GI include; quality assurance (reputation), fair competition, protection of the brand-name in the retail market (domestic or international), price premium, linking valuable products to rural areas, reconnecting consumers and producers and protecting traditions. Unfortunately, the added-value attached to foods with GIs can simultaneously incentivise fraudulent substitution with inferior products or adulteration. This in turn can lead to unintended food safety issues, reputational damage and can contribute to barriers to international trade and ultimately poverty. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have identified “the promotion of linkages between local producers, their local areas and their food products through geographical indications as a recognized pathway to nutritious food systems and sustainable development for rural communities throughout the world ”. Furthermore, the European Union is starting to formally recognise GI foods produced in third countries through its Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) and Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO) legislation e.g. 10 Chinese products including Longjing tea (CN/PDO/0005/0621), Jinxiang garlic (CN/PGI/0005/0622 ), Yancheng lobster (CN/PGI/0005/0625 ) and Zhenjiang vinegar (CN/PGI/0005/0630). Other recognised third countries and food products include Cambodia (pepper), Colombia (coffee), Dominican Republic (coffee), Indonesia (coffee), Thailand (spices), Turkey (baklava), and Vietnam (fermented fish sauce). Of course, other GIs already exist outside of EU recognition, e.g. Blue Mountain coffee (Jamaica), Darjeeling tea (India) and Taliouine saffron (Morocco).

In the wider context, food fraud, illicit trade, and counterfeit agrochemicals are now understood to undermine attainment of the United Nations sustainable development goals e.g. effecting farming practices and threatening delivery of safe and sustainable food supplies, which undermines progress toward the sustainable development goal of zero hunger (SDG2). Furthermore, Illicit trade in agri-foods and food fraud undermines the SDGs in many other ways, such as:
1) Undermining ‘robust and resilient’ agricultural markets that support economic development and poverty reduction, hitting SDG1 ‘no poverty’.
2) Increases the risk of exposing consumers to harmful ingredients or dilutes active beneficial ingredients, threatening SDG3 ‘good health and wellbeing’.
3) Effecting legitimate tax revenues from national economies and introduces health risks that can jeopardise corporate brands, economic sustainability, and consequently jobs, which can be linked to SDG8 ‘decent work and economic growth’.
4) Effects consumers’ ability to make informed choices about the food they choose to purchase, undermining SDG12 on ‘responsible production and consumption’.
5) Illegal profits support organised crime syndicates and consequently threaten economic stability, undermining SDG16 on ‘peace, justice and strong institutions’.

Socio-economic impacts of illicit trade present significant challenges to attaining the UN Sustainable Development Goals and there is little or no surveillance of this type of fraud in many developing economies.

CRP Publications

Type

Peer reviewed journal publication: Meat Science, 118 (2016) 103–107

Year

2016

Publication URL

http://road.iaea.org/livelink/llisapi.dll?func=ll&objId=47978006&objAction=viewh…

Description

Effect of organic and conventional rearing systemon the mineral content

Country/Organization

China/Institute of Quality Standards and Testing in Agro-food Products

Type

Peer reviewed journal article: Food Contol. 72: 306-312

Year

2017

Publication URL

http://road.iaea.org/livelink/llisapi.dll?func=ll&objId=48215337&objAction=viewh…

Description

Recent developments in the application of nuclear technology in agro-food quality and safety control in China

Country/Organization

China/Institute of Quality Standards and Testing in Agro-food Products

Type

Peer reviewed journal publication: Forensic Chemistry 17 (2020) 100198

Year

2019

Publication URL

http://road.iaea.org/livelink/llisapi.dll?func=ll&objId=47988275&objAction=viewh…

Description

Stable isotope ratio analysis as a new tool to trace the geographical origin of Argan oils in Morocco

Country/Organization

Morocco/National Center for Energy, Nuclear Sciences and Techniques

Type

Peer reviewed journal article: Spectroscopy and Spectral Analysis. 35 (1): 217-222.

Year

2015

Publication URL

https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ssa/ssa/2015/00000035/00000001/art00017

Description

Application of Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry with Chemometric Methods in Classification of Honeys According to Their Types

Country/Organization

China/Institute of Quality Standards and Testing in Agro-food Products

Type

Peer reviewed journal article: Food Control. 79: 169-176

Year

2017

Publication URL

http://road.iaea.org/livelink/llisapi.dll?func=ll&objId=48216237&objAction=viewh…

Description

Stable isotope ratio analysis in determining the geographical traceability of Indian wheat

Country/Organization

India/University of Delhi

Type

Food and Environmental Protection Newsletter article, Vol. 20, No. 1, page 33

Year

2017

Publication URL

https://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/Publications/PDF/Newsletters/FEP-20-1.pdf

Description

DNA barcode for genetic traceability of Nile Perch and Nile Tilapia

Country/Organization

Uganda/Makerere University

Type

Peer reviewed journal publication: Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 96 (2016) 3950-3955

Year

2016

Publication URL

http://road.iaea.org/livelink/llisapi.dll?func=ll&objId=47985247&objAction=viewh…

Description

Stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes as a potential tool to differentiate pork from organic and conventional systems

Country/Organization

China/Institute of Quality Standards and Testing in Agro-food Products

Type

Peer reviewed journal article: Journal of Nuclear Agricultural Sciences. 27(1): 47-55

Year

2013

Publication URL

https://inis.iaea.org/search/search.aspx?orig_q=RN%3A48045508

Description

Application of PCA-LDA method to determine the geographical origin of tea based on determination of stable isotopes and multi-elements.

Country/Organization

China/Institute of Quality Standards and Testing in Agro-food Products

Type

Peer reviewed journal publication: Food Chem. 145: 300-305

Year

2014

Publication URL

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0308814613011436

Description

Recent developments in application of stable isotope analysis on agro-product authenticity and traceability

Country/Organization

China/Institute of Quality Standards and Testing in Agro-food Products

Type

Peer reviewed journal article: Journal of Guangdong Agricultural Research. 21: 106-110

Year

2014

Description

Research on traceability identification for organic pork based on fatty acid differences

Country/Organization

China/Institute of Quality Standards and Testing in Agro-food Products

Description

Differentiating Basmati rice grown inside and outside the accepted Himalayan Geographical Indication using Multi-Element Data-Driven Soft Independent Modeling by Class Analogy (DD-SIMCA).

Country/Organization

Pakistan

Type

Peer reviewed journal publication: Journal of Physics Conf. Series 1285 (2019) 012004

Year

2019

Publication URL

http://road.iaea.org/livelink/llisapi.dll?func=ll&objId=47985245&objAction=viewh…

Description

Geographical origin of Thai Hom Mali rice based on elemental and stable isotopic compositions

Country/Organization

Thailand/Nuclear Research and Development Group, Thailand Institute of Nuclear Technology

Type

Peer reviewed journal publication: Food Control 91 (2018) 357-364

Year

2018

Publication URL

http://road.iaea.org/livelink/llisapi.dll?func=ll&objId=47988274&objAction=viewh…

Description

Elemental and isotopic profiling of Thai jasmine rice (Khao Dawk Mali105) for discrimination of geographical origins in Thung Kula Rong Hai area, Thailand

Country/Organization

Thailand/Nuclear Research and Development Group, Thailand Institute of Nuclear Technology

Type

Peer reviewed journal article: Journal of Nuclear Agricultural Sciences. 27(4): 0452- 0457

Year

2013

Publication URL

https://www.osti.gov/etdeweb/biblio/22600835

Description

Progress in analytical methods for the detection of geographical origin and authenticity of Tea (Camellia sinensis)

Country/Organization

China/Institute of Quality Standards and Testing in Agro-food Products

Type

Peer reviewed journal publication: Forensic Chemistry 17 (2020) 100197

Year

2019

Publication URL

http://road.iaea.org/livelink/llisapi.dll?func=ll&objId=47984134&objAction=viewh…

Description

Screening Malaysian edible bird’s nests for structural adulterants and geographical origin using Mid-Infrared – Attenuated Total Reflectance (MIR-ATR) spectroscopy combined with chemometric analysis by Data-Driven – Soft Independent Modelling of Class Analogy (DD-SIMCA)

Country/Organization

Malaysia/Malaysian Nuclear Agency

Type

Peer reviewed journal publication: Forensic Chemistry, 11 (2018) 32–37

Year

2018

Publication URL

http://road.iaea.org/livelink/llisapi.dll?func=ll&objId=47985441&objAction=viewh…

Description

Optimization of analytical strategies by Monte Carlo simulation: A case study in eggs for tracing their geographical origin using stable isotope signatures

Country/Organization

Singapore/Agri Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA)

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