There is an increasing need for the food industry to provide information on their products in order to satisfy quality standards and to protect their products from food fraud. Recent developments in technology, and advances in big data analytics, provide the opportunity for step-changes that can transform the role of food integrity assurance from one of just strictly conformance to one that addresses a wide range of business critical concerns, including quality, safety and authenticity solutions. Non-destructive Spectroscopic Sensors (NDSS), such as NIR Spectroscopy, Fluorescence, Raman or Hyperspectral imaging, enable rapid, non-destructive and environmentally-safe assessment of multiple parameters in a variety of food products.
Most applications of these technologies in the food industry are made at-line. Industry requires them to be deployed in situ and preferably on-line for full process control over the entire food chain. These requirements introduce constraints on sensor design and calibration development, which do not normally apply to laboratory-based instruments. Long-term stability of instruments, robustness of the calibrations, sensor integration in production environments, transferability of data and the building of real-time decision-making systems are critical issues to be considered. SENSORFINT Action will create a vibrant network, combining experience in research, manufacture, training and technology transfer in relation to NDSS.
The Action will operate by developing generic solutions to existing and emerging problems in non-invasive food process control building an “smart food control system” as well as developing a cadre of well-trained young researchers who will convert scientific results into a reality that matches industrial needs.