This website has been developed and is being maintained on behalf of ESFRI by the StR-ESFRI project which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement n° 654213
High-level metrology services in food and nutrition for the enhancement of food quality and safety
The Infrastructure for promoting Metrology in Food and Nutrition (METROFOOD-RI) is a new distributed Research Infrastructure aimed to promote scientific excellence in the field of food quality and safety. It provides high-quality metrology services in food and nutrition, comprising an important cross-section of highly interdisciplinary and interconnected fields throughout the food value chain, including agrifood, sustainable development, food safety, quality, traceability and authenticity, environmental safety, and human health.
METROFOOD-RI consists of a physical infrastructure (P-RI) and an electronic infrastructure (e-RI) to coordinate and integrate existing networks of plants, laboratories, experimental fields/farms for crop production/animal breeding, small-scale plants for food processing and storage, kitchen-labs for food preparation. The e-RI will make available an access platform to share and integrate knowledge and data on metrological tools for food analysis, focusing on food composition, nutritional contents, levels of contaminants and markers.
The agri-food sector is a strategic asset of all the European Countries and one of the largest and most important economic activities, with particular social relevance: it is vital to ensure employment, preserve rural public goods, supply healthy and quality food, and facilitate the integration of SMEs into the international food chain. Food quality and authenticity have now become a focus of consumer’s requirements all over the world. Food traceability and safety are key factors to ensure food quality and to protect consumers’ interests. In particular, food safety represents one of the most important elements of public health policies at a global level. High-quality data on the food chain are of fundamental importance to populate the expanding data technologies with useful contents and, according to the FAIR principles, enable advanced research on food and food metrology.
METROFOOD-RI mission is to enhance quality and reliability of measurement results and make available and share data, information and metrological tools, in order to enhance scientific excellence in the field of food quality and safety and strengthen scientific knowledge, also promoting scientific cooperation and to integration. The general objective is to enhance scientific cooperation and encourage interaction between the various stakeholders, as well as the creation of a common and shared base of data, information and knowledge. The scientific offer is addressed to a broad set of users and stakeholders, such as: public and private labs and groups engaged in research activities for food data collection and measurement reliability and basic frontier research in food and nutrition; Food Business Operators and producer associations; policy makers, food inspection and control agencies; consumers/consumer associations and citizens.
METROFOOD-RI was cited as emerging project in the ESFRI Roadmap 2016 and in 2017 completed its Early Phase upon the EU-funded PROMETROFOOD project. During this phase, METROFOOD-RI has performed a detailed Design and Feasibility Study, including an inventory of the available facilities, an analysis of the physical-RI and e-RI services, the development of two pilot services, Quality Systems and Data Management Plans, an analysis of users and stakeholders, a users’ strategy and access policy, and plans for training.
The main objectives for the planned Preparatory Phase are to attain firm additional MS/AC commitments, to better align governance and financial management models, and to set up all the legally binding agreements necessary to establish the ERIC status. The Implementation Phase is planned to start in 2021, with full operation foreseen for 2024.
Agenzia Nazionale per le nuove tecnologie, l’Energia e lo sviluppo economico sostenibile - ENEA