5th newsletter






ISO-FOOD newsletter 5th

 

 

Welcome to the fifth ISO-FOOD newsletter.

 

 

Welcome to the ISO-FOOD winter newsletter for 2017. This newsletter is published electronically. To receive news about ISO-FOOD please subscribe or go to our website where this newsletter is freely available. ISO-FOOD has been busy through the winter period and within this newsletter, we will be providing a brief review of some of the more important ISO-FOOD activities. We have also passed the half way point of our EU project but progress has been good and we remain committed to making the next thirty months just as successful as the first, and maybe more so. In the New Year we will sponsor three new postdoctoral fellows to work in the fields of compound specific isotope analysis, organic contaminates and metrology relating to food research. These new researchers will build and expand our existing knowledge base. We also held an exciting workshop on isotopic techniques in food characterization with world experts joining us to talk about the latest developments and the challenges that still remain. Since our last newsletter team ISO-FOOD has also continued to promote is work at important conferences including the first conference organised by the Journal of Food Chemistry and publish its research in quality journals. For full details read on.


ISO-FOOD at Magdalene College, Cambridge


In November, Dr David Heath travelled to Cambridge, UK, where he participated in the Food safety & Analysis Congress. The symposium discussed all aspects of food safety. On the first day, conference speakers discussed mainly emerging toxins in food and feed, plant toxins and Mycotoxins, food safety policy, latest trends in instrumentation and immunoassays for targeted and non-targeted screening of food. The focus of the talks on day two was the fight against food fraud and methods for authenticating food and detecting adulteration. Of particular interest was a poignant lecture on food safety by Dr Darin Detwiler who had lost his own son in the infamous 1993 “Jack in the Box” E-coli food poisoning outbreak that occurred in the USA. Business leaders and instrument vendors also gave informed talks. The symposium was an ideal opportunity to present the ERA Chair ISO-FOOD for Isotope Techniques in Food Quality, Safety and Traceability and to network with those working in the field of food safety. During the conference Dr Heath met several of the key players in the field, which hopefully will result in closer ties and possible future collaborations with their organisations and the ISO-FOOD.

ERA Chair ISO-FOOD at the 1st Food Chemistry conference


In October, Dr Heath represented ISO-FOOD at the First Food Chemistry Conference entitled “Shaping the Future of Food Quality, Health and Safety” held in Amsterdam. The conference was organised to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Elsevier journal Food Chemistry. The conference was about shaping current and future challenges in food quality, food safety, and health aspects of the food chain. The conference bought together experts and researchers from academic and industry to listen to and engage in discussions concerning the latest scientific advances in food chemistry.


It also provided a perfect opportunity to promote the work of the ERA Chair and have constructive dialogue with leading experts in the field. Dr Heath presented part of ISO-FOOD’s work entitled “Bisphenol Migration from Honey Packaging” a collaborative effort between by Marjeta Česen, Maria Laimou-Geraniou, Urška Blaznik, Dimitra Lambropolou, Ester Heath and David Heath. Dr Heath was joined by Ana Jerše an early stage researcher in the department who also present her work on selenium uptake in crops. This conference was an ideal platform for presenting our early results since it is an international forum consisting of researchers, scientists, technologists and food industry experts. The conference was organized by the publisher Elsevier who also provided an excellent workshop on what it expects from those wishing to publish in this journal. On display were over 200 posters and 250 attendees attended the conference.

 

MASSTWIN 1st Group Training on Metrology in measurements of stable isotopes of light elements traceability, uncertainty and comparability (organized by JSI and FEM)


Accurate measurements are essential in the pursuit of scientific progress but as we all know obtaining accurate measurements as well as an accurate estimation of uncertainty is becoming the standard in analytical reporting. This is just as valid in stable isotope research where new applications and new analytical technologies have resulted in a change to the measurements and standards infrastructure needed to ensure data Integrity. Making accurate and precise measurements of stable isotopes is a challenge, since it’s not always possible to properly validate an analytical method given that lack of suitable certified reference materials and/or reference methods. Measurement uncertainty is also a subject that many analysts find daunting and one of the aims of this training event was to provide participants with the necessary knowledge to produce quality assured stable isotope ratio data based on metrological principles. The course was aimed at early stage researchers (doctoral and postdoctoral level) and application scientists from the EU networks involved in using isotopic methods in food characterisation although the methods discussed are applicable to analytical chemistry in general.


The event was organised to coincide with the ERA Chair ISO-FOOD’s workshop on “Isotopic Techniques in Food Characterization” (8th to 9th December) in order to allow participants to attend both training event and workshop. In total, forty-four participants attended representing nine different countries including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Romania, Spain, Slovenia and the USA. Speakers included Dr Philip Dunn (LGC Ltd, UK) Dr Manfred Gröning (IAEA Environment Laboratories), Germany Prof Paula Iacumin (University of Parma, Italy), and Dr Claudia Zoani (ENEA, Italy). The participants ranged from doctoral students, researchers & professionals in service providing laboratories all of whom have an interest in isotopic techniques in food characterization.

 

ERA Chair ISO-FOOD Workshop on “Isotopic techniques in food characterization”8th – 9th December 2016 at Jožef Stefan Institute, Reactor centre, Podgorica, Slovenia.


We all know that the ability to measure slight differences in the ratios of stable isotope using isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) is a valuable diagnostic technique in food research. In many instances, it is the only available method for verifying authenticity and determining the origin of food and food additives. It is also proving a valuable tool for evaluating food adulteration (e.g., addition of exogenous sugars and water). Isotope ratios can even distinguish a specific farming regime, i.e., whether or not a food was produce either conventionally or organically. To date, isotopes have found many applications, for example, in the analysis of wine, spirits tea, fruit juices, honey, rice, coffee, bottled water, milk, olive oil, fruits and vegetables, flavourings and natural food additives. The application of isotopes has certainly come along way since the seventies but the science remains strong and continues to develop at a pace.


The overarching aim of our exploratory workshop was to stimulate knowledge exchange in the field of isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) and its application to food science. The workshop was designed to facilitate dialogue between the participants by giving an overview of the latest developments in the field including the state-of-the-art in current instrumentation, knowledge gaps and emerging topics, Identifying priority research efforts necessary to support the development of Isotopic techniques in food safety and traceability, highlighting key issues and new methodologies and applications. The target workshop audience was the general isotope community with the intent to bring together key figures from various backgrounds including public research institutes, universities, and the private sector who are devoted to advancing the boundaries of stable isotope techniques in relation to food research.


In total, the workshop attracted forty-six participants from nine different countries including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Romania, Spain, Slovenia and the USA. Our two day workshop comprised of a series of plenary lectures along with oral and poster communications designed to create a platform for sharing of knowledge, experiences, good practices and strengthening existing and creating new networks among the participants as well as chance to plan follow-up collaborative work. The programme gave ample time for participants to contribute to discuss the topics at hand but also their own research problems.


The workshop was a great success thanks to all the enthusiasm of the organising committee, all of the workshop participants and, of course, to our excellent speakers.




Spring School on “The use of isotopic and elemental fingerprinting for determining authenticity and geographic origin of food”

In April, the ISO-FOOD will have a spring school covering aspects on Isotopic and elemental fingerprinting for determining authenticity and geographic origin of food. As you are aware the development of laboratory capacities, in terms of instrumentation and expertise in state-of-the art analytical techniques is just part of what Slovenia requires to meet its Smart Specialization Strategy (S4) objectives in relation to “Healthy working and the living environment”. Moreover, education and transfer of knowledge from research centres to the executive bodies responsible for legislation (i.e., Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food; Ministry of Health) and food control (Administration of the Republic of Slovenia for Food Safety, Veterinary Sector and Plant Protection; National Laboratory of Health, Environment and Food) is just as, if not more, important. In light of this, the ERA Chair team decided to organize a Spring School on “The use of isotopic and elemental fingerprinting for determining authenticity and geographic origin of food” designed with national stakeholders i.e., key players in food safety in mind. The event will take place on the April 4 – 7th at the Department of Environmental Sciences, Jožef Stefan Institute, at the Reactor centre in Podgorica, Slovenia. The result will be a unique offering consisting of lectures and practical classes designed to give attendees actual hands-on experience of the methods and instrumentation discussed during the course. You can apply for the spring School via our website.
 

Short course on applying isotopes in the determination of food authenticity

In April will be held the 9th Jožef Stefan International Postgraduate School Students’ Conference and the Young Researchers Day in chemistry, materials, biochemistry and the environment (CMBE), in Ljubljana, Slovenia. This innovative annual international conference will display the work of seventy students. The two-day programme this year will include short oral presentations known as called ‘elevator pitch’ from preselected participants and poster sessions on the first day. While on the second day various lecturers from Slovenian academia and industry will present their career paths, followed by a panel discussion entitled ‘Career plan’. The proceedings traditionally finish with an awards ceremony in which this year the ERA Chair ISO-FOOD will be awarding a special prize for best poster related to food research.

 

ISO-FOOD In Oslo at the 16th International Conference on Chemistry and the Environment 18.06. – 22.06.2017

The ICCE 2017 conference represents a unique information and communication platform for environmental scientists from academia, industry and in governmental institutions and act as a forum of professional exchange with collaborators and colleagues from related disciplines. This year with special thanks to the ICCE’s organising committee, ISO-FOOD will have a special satellite event on “Isotopic techniques and their applications in environmental and food research”. The aim of this event will be to highlight recent advances in instrumentation and application in environment, food and health related research, and by doing so explore the opportunities and challenges ahead. Specifically, our Satellite event deals with both traditional stable isotopes of light elements focusing on stable isotope composition of nitrogen and compound specific application of organic pollutants and non-traditional stable isotopes of trace elements to determine their sources and transformation processes in the environment. This event will bring together leading researchers in this field and present the state-of-the-art including their own recent research.


 

9th Jožef Stefan International Postgraduate School Students’ Conference and Young researchers day
April 19th – April 20th, 2017 Ljubljana, Slovenia

April will see the 9th Jožef Stefan International Postgraduate School Students’ Conference and the Young Researchers Day in chemistry, materials, biochemistry and the environment (CMBE), to be held in Ljubljana, Slovenia. This innovative annual international conference will display the work of seventy students. The two-day programme this year will include it’s short oral presentations known as called ‘elevator pitch’ from preselected participants and poster sessions on the first day. While on the second day various lecturers from Slovenian academia and industry will present their career paths, followed by a panel discussion entitled ‘Career plan’. The proceedings traditionally finish with an awards ceremony and this year the ERA Chair ISO-FOOD is proud to announce that it will be awarding a special prize for best poster related to food research.


Contacts


ERA Chair holder
Dr David Heath
Phone: (+386 1) 4773194
e-mail:
erachair@isofood.eu
Project Coordinator
Prof Milena Horvat
Phone: (+386 1) 5885389
e-mail:
milena.horvat@ijs.si
Project officer
Vanja Usenik
Phone: (+386 1) 4773746
e-mail:
erachair@isofood.eu


ISO-FOOD ERA Chair for isotope techniques in food quality safety, and traceability is a FP7 project funded by the EC under Contract No. 621329 (2014–19).

Foto: Shutterstock; TIC Ljubljana, Stane Jeršič; Marjan Verč, JSI

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ERA Chair · Jamova 39 · Ljubljana 1000 · Slovenia