Meeting of minds on innovative food technologies
The European food and drink industry is one of the most innovative in the world. It leads in developing innovative techniques and technologies for producing safe, tasty and nutritional foods.
The EU-funded project RECAPT ('Retailer and consumer acceptance of promising novel technologies and collaborative innovation management') is working to get key players in the food industry to come together, to collaborate and to innovate.
Ultimately the goal is to get the most out of the latest scientific and technological developments in this key sector, and make it even more competitive.
The project aims to promote information exchange, support trust-building and, in the long run, foster cooperation on new innovations along the food supply chain.
The RECAPT team believes increased cooperation in the development of new food production technologies will allow industry to convert research findings into products that reflect changing consumer demands.
Cooperation will get novel foods into shopping baskets and onto dinner tables more quickly, increasing value and supporting economic, social and environmental sustainability.
To forge closer cooperation, RECAPT has created a 'Collaborative Food Innovation Forum' (CFIF) for dialogue and networking among food-chain stakeholders.
The CFIF is a unique meeting place, bringing together scientists, food manufacturers, retailers, caterers and consumer organisations. Key issues addressed within the CFIF framework include:
- promising novel technologies;
- consumer acceptance of new products based on these technologies;
- adoption of new products by retailers and caterers;
- innovation management processes in the food sector.
Currently RECAPT has identified 15 novel food processing technologies with a potential to lead to new food products and services in Europe. These include bio-based and biodegradable packing films, edible coatings, electron beam irradiation, high-pressure processing, ultrasonic cutting, and radio-frequency identification tracking.
The first CFIF workshop to discuss these innovations was held in Paris on 25 October 2012.
The CFIF plays a real and important role in stimulating collaborative efforts, supporting the creation of knowledge-sharing networks and new relationship models. The team is paying particular attention to the involvement of retailers, considering their direct impact on the cost, quality, and time-to-market of new products.
The forum also provides stakeholders with the best and latest information on emerging food technologies, processes and products, as well as new services, business models and innovative manufacturing and distribution operations.
The RECAPT project has been granted almost EUR 1 million in EU funding. It runs until November 2014.