OptiSignFood is a European Horizon 2020 collaborative research project funded by the European Commission with the objective to develop a data science and artificial intelligence assisted software to digitally design optimised high quality and safe food products with minor environmental impact.
Food brands & manufacturers are faced with the challenge of producing products that are high in quality, safe, tasty, environmentally friendly and healthy at the same time. It can take up to two years and hundreds of tests to create a new food product that meets all consumer and distributor requirements as well as regulations. To address this challenge, we will develop a software that makes the food design process more efficient and assists in optimising quality, safety, nutritional values and environmental impacts. OptiSignFood kicked off in July 2021 and will run for three years.
OptiSignFood addresses the topic of nutrition and health. A healthier and more nutritious selection of ingredients in new food products can have a tremendous impact on reducing non-communicable diet-related diseases.
There are 2 billion overweight or obese people, yet 797 million are suffering hunger and malnutrition.2 Another 442 million people suffer from diabetes.3 This issue is targeted by the Green Deal Farm to Fork strategy4, United Nation Sustainable Development Goal (UN SDG) target 3.4.1 (Reduce mortality rate attributed to cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes or chronic respiratory disease) and the EU Bioeconomy FOOD 2030 policy.5
OptiSignFood will contribute to the climate and sustainability of the food system. Carrying out more environmentally friendly choices of ingredients and raw materials when designing a new food product has one of the largest effects on GHG emissions. The food sector currently contributes to 26% of all global greenhouse gas emissions, most of them coming from livestock and fish farms (31%) and land use (24%).6 Within the EU, agriculture is responsible for 67% of GHG emitted in the food chain, processing for 14%.7
Thirdly, OptiSignFood will tackle circularity and resource efficiency. By optimising the use of raw materials for the development of new food products, the digital solution addresses the UN SDG 9.4 of upgrading industries with resource-use efficient processes.
OptiSignFood supports its users to enhance sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources (UN SDG 12.2). By substituting a long and resource intense approach with a fast-digital optimisation, OptiSignFood will reduce food waste during product development, therefore reducing emissions and saving resources.
OptiSignFood is run by a highly experienced consortium, consisting of four leading research institutions and companies. It combines nutritional, food technology, data science and environmental expertise with the mission to transfer innovative solutions from the laboratory to the manufacturing process of products that meet all customer needs and regulations.
Agroscope is the Swiss centre of excellence for agricultural research and is affiliated with the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG). Agroscope works for a sustainable agriculture and food sector, thereby contributing to an improved quality of life. Agroscope researches along the entire food value chain. Agroscope is distinguished by a combination of research, policy advice, enforcement, knowledge sharing and technology transfer, as well as by a mixture of applied and basic research of practical relevance.
The Makers is a digital platform that makes it easy to develop new products quickly, simply and sustainably. The Makers combines decades of experience in food science and product development and a true commitment to sustainable processes, ingredients and materials, ensuring the development of better products for manufacturers and brands from start to finish.
Metacognis Ltd is a London based scientific data analytics company. Metacognis uses the latest advances in AI-driven text analysis to build knowledge-maps of scientific information aimed at enabling users to quickly identify key data the literature scale in a discipline agnostic fashion.
Pascal Processing BV founded in 2011 in the Netherlands is the first & most advanced, full-service provider of high pressure processing (HPP) in Europe. The IFS-certified tolling centre provides a full-service approach to their customers including product development, labelling, palletising, storage, order picking. The team consists of experienced food scientists in the field of food technology and new product development. Pascal Processing is closely collaborating with the Dutch Saucecompany B.V., which specialises in the private label production of sauces, marinades and dressings for over 200 national and international customers.
OptiSignFood is a European Horizon 2020 project funded by the European Commission with the objective to implement a data science and AI assisted software to digitally design optimised high quality and safe food products with minor environmental impact. OptiSignFood is run by a highly experienced consortium, consisting of four leading research institutions and companies, Agroscope Switzerland, The Makers Food GmbH, Metacognis Ltd, Pascal Processing BV.
“This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 971242.”